The employment rate continues to rise in Canada, approaching the statistics posted before the start of the pandemic.
Over 153,000 jobs were created in Canada in November, pushing the unemployment rate down to its lowest level since the start of the pandemic, 6.0%. In February 2020, that statistic was 5.7%.
Statistics Canada’s most recent Labor Force Survey notes that the unemployment rate would have been 7.8% if it had included Canadians who wanted to work but were not looking for a job, compared to 8.7% in October.
The number of long-term unemployed fell by 62,000 in November, the first since last August. Total hours worked returned to pre-pandemic levels for the first time in November, after a period when some workers saw their hours reduced.
Employment grew in the service and goods sectors. The unemployment rate for Canadian women is 5.5% while that for Canadians is 6.6%.
Statistics Canada notes that its monthly employment survey took place, however, just before the severe flooding in British Columbia.
Quebec in the lead
Six provinces saw their unemployment rate drop in November, including Ontario, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, but it’s Quebec which wins the palm on this side, the unemployment rate standing at 4.5%.
However, this performance is marred by a considerable increase: 25%, in requests for last resort help. The Quebec Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Solidarity said it was receiving more than 450 new applications per day at the end of November.
According to Quebec, this increase is a consequence of the end of federal assistance programs related to COVID-19.
The Quebec reality shows that the labor shortage results, among other things, from a gap between unfilled positions and the skills required by these job offers. In addition, to avoid departures, companies are no longer hesitant to raise wages.
A recent survey by the firm Normandin Beaudry also reports a more generous salary increase in Canada in the fall, a 3.3% increase. To adjust to the context of the shortage, 40% of the 180 organizations that responded to the survey are even forecasting an additional budget of 1.2% for salaries in 2022.