Canadian Employment Increases in January; Unemployment Holds Steady at 5.0%

Statistics Canada (StatCan) reported on Friday (2-10-23) that in January employment increased by 150,000, or 0.8%. Of that number, 121,000, or 0.7%, were full-time positions. The January increase in total employment continues a trend that began in September 2022, with cumulative gains for the period totaling 326,000, or 1.7%.

StatCan notes that the January increase pushed the employment rate—the percentage rate of people aged 15 and older who are employed—to 62.5%, a level last seen in April and May of 2019.

In January, the unemployment rate held steady at 5.0%, just below the record-low of 4.9% set in both June and July of 2022. The total number of unemployed people stands at 1.0 million, similar to the level of unemployment that has been observed since the summer of 2022.

Employment in the construction sector increased by 16,000, or 1.0%, in January, building on a gain of 27,000 recorded in December of 2022. On a year-over-year basis, construction employment was up 114,000, or 7.6%. This pace makes the construction sector one of the fastest-growing industries over the previous 12 months.

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