Construction employment growth flat amidst modest May gains
Unemployment rate hits new record low; construction employment up more than five per cent over 2021.
In its most recent Labour Force Survey, Statistics Canada reports that overall employment in Canada rose by 40,000 jobs in May. The 0.2 per cent rise helped push the unemployment rate down to a new record low of 5.1 per cent.
The general employment increase was driven by gains in full-time work among young and core-aged women (25 to 54) and was spread across several industries, although construction, which lost 3,000 positions, was essentially flat and did not contribute to the monthly gains.
The 1.5 million people employed in the construction sector in May does represent a 5.3 per cent increase over May of 2021, however, which amounts to an additional 76,000 jobs in the sector from one year earlier.
Since May 2021, when the labour market was impacted by the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, total employment has increased by 1.1 million, or 5.7 per cent. As of May 2022, the market was 2.6 higher than its pre-COVID February 2020 level. As a result of this strong labour market recovery, the employment rate — or employment as a proportion of the population aged 15 and older — grew year over year, from 59.4 per cent in May 2021 to 61.9 per cent in May 2022.