CANADA ADDS 337,000 JOBS IN FEBRUARY, AS UNEMPLOYMENT DROPS TO 5.5%

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As the Omicron wave of COVID-19 waned and the economy picked up, Canada’s labour market surged back in February.

The Canada jobs Labour Force Survey showed the addition of nearly 337,000 jobs, for an unemployment rate of 5.5 per cent, eclipsing the pre-COVID rate of 5.7 per cent and approaching the all-time record of 5.4 per cent.

Employment rose and the unemployment rate fell in every Canadian province, spearheaded by the 194,300 jobs added in Ontario and an unemployment rate of 4.5 per cent in Quebec.

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Demographically, men aged 25 to 54 saw their employment rate climb to 88.2 percent, the highest level since November 1981.

Women in the same age-group saw a record employment rate of 81 percent, with gains almost double the losses see in January.

Gains for women were seen in both full and part-time work, while the increases for men were concentrated in full-time work.

In the 15 to 24 age-group, men added 67,000 jobs and women 63,000, erasing January losses. Employment rates of nearly 57 percent for men and 60 percent for women are on a par with pre-COVID figures.

For those aged 55 and older, employment gains were concentrated in part-time work and for women. Employment growth of 42,000 jobs for older women returns the figures to pre-pandemic levels.

SEE ALSO: CANADA JOB VACANCIES NOW FAR BEYOND PRE-COVID NUMBERS

WHAT ARE THE LABOUR FORCE SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS?

Unemployment rate (%)

5.5

Employment rate (%)

61.8

Labour force participation rate (%)

65.4

Number unemployed

1,135,500

Number working

19,512,700

Youth (15-24) unemployment rate (%)

10.9

Men (over 25) unemployment rate (%)

4.7

Women (over 25) unemployment rate (%)

4.5

Source: Statistics Canada

PROVINCIAL CANADA JOBS PICTURE

Provincially, Ontario’s employment growth of 194,300 jobs was concentrated in the accommodation and food services and the information, culture and recreation industries. The unemployment rate of 5.5 percent was the lowest since before COVID-19.

Quebec’s employment increase of 81,500 jobs saw the provincial unemployment rate drop to 4.5 percent, the lowest among all the provinces. The largest gains were seen in accommodation and food services; information, culture and recreation; and wholesale and retail trade.

Newfoundland & Labrador saw the largest proportional gain, adding 9,500 jobs for an increase of 4.5 percent. Unemployment fell to 12.3 percent. Further Atlantic Canada gains were seen in Prince Edward Island (3,300 jobs), Nova Scotia (3,700) and New Brunswick (1,200).

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UNEMPLOYMENT RATES IN CANADA’S PROVINCES

Jobs change in last month

Unemployment rate (%)

British Columbia

21,000

4.9

Alberta

8,200

6.8

Saskatchewan

7,400

4.7

Manitoba

6,400

4.8

Ontario

194,300

5.5

Quebec

81,500

4.5

New Brunswick

1,200

7.9

Nova Scotia

3,700

6.6

Prince Edward Island

3,300

9.0

Newfoundland & Labrador

9,500

12.3

CANADA

336,600

5.5

Source: Statistics Canada

British Columbia, meanwhile, added 21,000 jobs for an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent, with the gains concentrated in the Vancouver census metropolitan area.

Alberta added 8,200 jobs for an unemployment rate of 6.8 percent, Saskatchewan 7,400 for unemployment of 4.7 percent and Manitoba 6,400 jobs for an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent.

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