Regional Labour Market Report Card
January 07, 2022 | 10:20
Job Recovery Broadens
Canadian employment rose a strong 240k in 2021Q4 (September-to-December), leaving total jobs now more than 1% above pre-COVID levels, and up 4.8% from a year ago. The jobless rate finished the year at 5.9%, back within the pre-COVID range as the labour market continues to tighten. Regionally, seven of ten provinces have now seen a full employment recovery, or better.
All provinces saw job growth in Q4, while nine of ten saw employment above year-ago levels (significantly so in some regions). Ontario led the pack to finish the year, although that province (along with Quebec) will face a tough start to 2022 amid renewed restrictions.
Despite waves of restrictions, employment in Ontario is 2.1% above the pre-COVID mark, the strongest recovery in the country along with B.C.
Quebec finished the year with the lowest jobless rate in Canada, at 4.6%, after matching a record low (4.5%) in November. But, this partly reflects a slower rebound in labour force participation.
At the city level, strength is mixed across the country and among smaller and larger centres. Guelph and Barrie continue to highlight strength around Toronto (parly reflecting a move out of the core by households). But, the largest cities themselves have moved further up the performance ranking in recent months.