Regional Labour Market Report Card
April 08, 2022 | 10:02
Fully Completely Recovered
Canadian employment rose 209k in 2022Q1 (December-to-March), continuing the strong run of job creation and leaving employment more than 2% above pre-COVID levels. The jobless rate fell to 5.3%, the lowest since 1974 amid broadly tight labour market conditions. Regionally, all provinces have now seen a full employment recovery, or better, from pre-pandemic levels.
All provinces saw job growth in Q1. Jobless rates are also down sharply almost everywhere (PEI and NL are the exceptions), highlighting that strong conditions are largely a national, not regional, story.
Despite another set of early-year restrictions, employment in Ontario rose by 84k in the quarter, and is 4.8% above year-ago levels. Construction and some service-sectors have surged in recent months. Quebec holds the lowest jobless rate in Canada, by a wide margin, at 4.1%. Alberta's economy is surging and creating jobs, up 4.3% y/y to record levels. The jobless rate is also falling sharply, still above the national average at 6.5%, but perhaps not for too much longer.
At the city level, performance is mixed across the country and among smaller and larger centres. Guelph, St. Catharines, Peterborough and Oshawa continue to highlight strength further outside the core of Toronto (partly reflecting the pandemic shift out by households). But, the largest cities themselves have again moved up the performance ranking in recent months.