Employment continues upward trend
By Adam FreillConstruction Labour
StatCan reports construction employment gains outpaced rise seen in general employment. Sector adds 16,000 workers in January.
Construction employment in Canada was up by one per cent in January, according to the latest figures released by Statistics Canada. The sector grew by 16,000 workers, building on a gain of 27,000 recorded in December.
On a year-over-year basis, employment was up 114,000, making construction one of the fastest-growing industries over the previous 12 months, exceeded only by accommodation and food services; information, culture and recreation; and professional, scientific and technical services.
The monthly gains in construction outpaced overall employment slightly. More than 150,000 more jobs were filled in January, a rise of just under one per cent when all sectors are included. Most gains were in full-time work.
Overall, the country continued on an upward trend in total employment that began in September 2022, with cumulative gains totalling 326,000. The increase in January pushed the employment rate — the percentage of people aged 15 and older who are employed — to 62.5 per cent, a level last observed in April and May of 2019.
On a year-over-year basis, employment for those who were not born in Canada and have never been a landed immigrant was up 13.3 per cent, or 79,000 positions in January. This compares to growth in total employment of 2.8 per cent. As of January, this group accounted for 3.4 per cent of total employment, up slightly from 3.1 per cent one year earlier.
Canada’s unemployment rate held steady at five per cent in January, just shy of the record-low of 4.9 per cent observed in June and July of 2022. The total number of unemployed people stood at one million, similar to the level observed since the summer of 2022.
The size of the labour force has continued to grow, with an additional 153,000 people in the labour force in January. That booste the participation rate to 65.7 per cent, almost in line with the pre-pandemic level of 65.9 per cent observed in September 2021.