Construction employment takes a March break
By Adam FreillConstruction Labour
Statistics Canada indicates stable overall employment, despite loss of 19,000 positions in the construction sector.
Employment in the construction industry fell by 19,000 positions in in March. The 1.2 per cent drop, as indicated in Statistics Canada’s most recent Labour Force Survey, followed an almost flat February and partially offset the cumulative increases of 42,000 in December and January.
Overall, employment rose by 35,000 in March, with an unemployment rate that held steady at 5.0 per cent. Employment was up 21,000 positions in Ontario, 14,000 in Alberta, 3,300 in Manitoba, and 1,700 in Prince Edward Island, but down 4,300 in Saskatchewan.
Most of those who were unemployed people in March had been without work for 13 weeks or less, and the number of Canadians unemployed for 27 weeks or more — the long-term unemployed — was 16 per cent, down from more than 20 per cent a year earlier.
Employment in Canada has trended upward in 2022 and into 2023, while the unemployment rate has hovered near record lows, reflecting a tight labour market. In March, 84.9 per cent of the core-aged Canadian population, aged 25 to 54, was employed, down slightly from the record-high of 85.3 per cent reached in January 2023.