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Canada Unemployment Rate Steady at 5%

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In March, employment in Canada increased by 35,000 (+0.2%) while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.0%.

Transportation and warehousing had an increase in employment of 41,000 (+4.2%), business, construction, and other support services saw an increase of 31,000 (+4.4%), and finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing saw an increase of 19,000 (+1.3%).

Employment fell in “other services” (which includes personal and repair services) (-11,000; -1.5%), natural resources (-11,000; -3.2%), and construction (-19,000; -1.2%) during the same period.

Women aged 55 to 64 were less likely to be employed (-13,000; -0.8%), somewhat offsetting increases in the previous month. Generally, women’s employment remained constant while men’s employment increased.

Alberta (+14,000; +0.6%), Manitoba (+3,300; +0.5%), Ontario (+21,000; +0.3%), and Prince Edward Island (+1,700; +2.0%) all saw increases in employment. In Saskatchewan, fewer individuals were employed (-4,300; -0.7%). In the other provinces, employment barely changed.

In March, total hours worked increased by 0.4%, and year over year, they increased by 1.6%.

In March, average hourly salaries increased 5.3% (+$1.68 to $33.12) on an annual basis, compared to 5.4% in February (not seasonally adjusted).

In the year leading up to March, the employment rate among South Asian Canadians in the key age group (25 to 54) grew.

After minimal change in February and significant increases in January (+150,000) and December (+69,000), employment increased by 35,000 (+0.2%) in March. From September 2022, the employment trend has typically increased. The number of employed persons has grown by 383,000 (+1.9%) throughout that time.

Employers in the private sector (+35,000; +0.3%) saw the most employment growth in March. The proportion of self-employed people and public sector employees remained relatively stable.

After minimal change in February, the number of persons employed in transportation and warehousing increased by 41,000 (+4.2%) in March, making up for a net decrease of 41,000 from February 2022 to January 2023.

After gains in January (+40,000; +1.5%) and February (+15,000; +0.6%), employment in the health care and social support sectors showed no change in March. In January, there were more open positions than ever before in the industry.

The average hourly pay increased 5.3% over the previous year ($1.68) to reach $33.12 in March. Similar to February (+5.4%), wages increased, with minimal difference between men and women (not seasonally adjusted).

In March, employment increased in Saskatchewan while declining in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and Prince Edward Island. The other provinces saw minimal change.

Source: Statistics Canada

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