The latest employment news

Canadian unemployment rate holds steady at a five-year low

Peter Harris|

The Canadian economy created 13,200 jobs in October, leaving the national unemployment rate unchanged at its five-year low of 6.9%, according to the latest Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada.

These gains came as full-time employment increased by 16,000 jobs last month, while part-time work fell by 2,700. This news beats most economists’ expectations that the unemployment rate would creep back up above the 7% mark for October.

Overall, this country has gained 214,000 jobs since this time last year with increases in both full-time and part-time work.

This graph from Statistics Canada shows the steady increases in employment since the jarring lows of the recession in late 2008:

Employment changes by industry

There were fewer people working in construction in October, but this sector is still performing well with a 5% year-over-year growth and 66,000 new jobs being created in 2013.

Similarly, the Skilled Trades sector shed 19,000 jobs in October, but has grown by 48,000 jobs over the year, with 2% more people working than at this time in 2012.

The Accommodations, Food Services, and Hospitality field gained 29,000 jobs in October, and 77,000 over the course of the year.

Business and support services – administration, management, commerce, call centers and tour operators all saw losses in employment last month.


Quebec saw the lion’s share of the job creation last month with nearly 40,000 full-time jobs being added – although part-time work actually declined slightly. Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island also saw employment increases in October.

Nova Scotia, Manitoba and New Brunswick all had fewer people working last month.

At a historic low of 3.6% Saskatchewan has the lowest unemployment rate in the country, while at 11%, Newfoundland has the highest.

Looking ahead

Online job postings continue to increase month over month. This and the key economic indicators that we watch continue to be positive, and so Workopolis would expect November to be another positive month for hiring and predict that next month’s labour report will show similar slow but steady growth in employment.

Peter Harris
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  • David Gay

    The unemployment rate is a percentage of those actively seeking employment. That in itself is not giving the true situation of how really bad the unemployment problem is. Points to consider:

    1) People may in fact be employed but in a state known as employment disparity….working a job they are not actually used to doing, such as a programmer or engineer driving a taxi or working at an entry level job, because they cannot find a job in the field they used to work in before the 2008 economic meltdown.

    2) People job sharing because of downsizing. They are in the chosen field but are working at less than 40 hours a week because the employer has scaled back.

    3) People have fallen off the employment radar simply because they have given up looking for work, after being out of work for too long and have fallen through the cracks.