Ottawa, ON — Canada recorded the highest rate of employment in December since the pandemic first began back in February 2020. According to Statistics Canada, through its Labour Force Survey (LFS), the Canadian economy added 55,000 jobs, bringing the unemployment rate from six per cent in November to 5.9 per cent in December.
Most of the employment growth was seen in Ontario.
In addition, notable gains were seen in the construction sector. At the national level, gains were driven primarily by the construction and education services industries. Employment in the goods-producing sector grew for a second consecutive month, rising by 44,000. An increase in construction (up 27,000) accounted for most of the gains in this sector — just over 61 per cent to be exact. This increase in the construction sector was the first since August. Most of the growth was concentrated on full-time work. Despite the gain in December, employment in construction remains 2.7 per cent, down 41,000, below its pre-COVID February 2020 level.
The LFS was based on survey results completed between Dec. 5 and 11, just before COVID-19 cases began to rise and restrictions were put in place across the country. In December, the overall increase in jobs was due to more people working full time, particularly core-aged men aged 25 to 5. Employment for core-aged women also trended upward since June and was up 2.2 per cent above its pre-pandemic level in December.
Part-time employment fell by 68,000 for the month.
Additionally, average hourly wages increased 2.7 per cent (up $0.80) on a year-over-year basis in December.