Canada Posts the Lowest Jobless Rate in More Than 40 Years

While Millennials may not agree, Canada’s job market is stronger than ever.

According to the latest jobs report by Statistics Canada, the country’s jobless rate dropped to 5.7 per cent in December. This is the lowest it has been since 1976 – when Pierre Trudeau was Prime Minister.

Around 79,000 jobs were added in the month, with growth in every province. Quebec and Alberta had particularly strong showings, with each seeing more than 26,000 new jobs.

December’s bullish performance caps an impressive year for the Canadian economy, which added 423,000 jobs in 2017. This makes last year the best year for jobs since 2012.

jobs

The country’s biggest economic players couldn’t find enough superlatives to describe the news. TD said the results were “unbelievable,” while Scotiabank gleamed about the “ridiculously strong” economy. BMO, meanwhile, referred to the report as a  “blowout.”

Even more encouraging is that average hourly wages rose by 2.7 per cent, to $26.68, over the year. With Ontario’s $14/hour minimum wage now in effect, that number should increase over the coming year as well. Of course, CEOs took well beyond their fair share of 2017’s economic boom.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau was quick to bask in the stats.

The report also highlighted a disparity in economic prosperity between provinces. While things are rolling in the West, Canada East Coast posted some discouraging numbers in December (and the year overall):

Jobless rates in December by province (previous month in brackets):

  • Newfoundland and Labrador 14.7 per cent (14.4)
  • Prince Edward Island 9.8 (8.8)
  • Nova Scotia 8.0 (8.8)
  • New Brunswick 7.8 (8.3)
  • Quebec 4.9 (5.4)
  • Ontario 5.5 (5.5)
  • Manitoba 5.7 (5.4)
  • Saskatchewan 6.4 (6.0)
  • Alberta 6.9 (7.3)
  • British Columbia 4.6 (4.8)

Below is a breakdown of the above data for Canada’s major cities:

  • St. John’s, N.L. 8.2 per cent (8.5)
  • Halifax 6.9 (7.2)
  • Moncton, N.B. 5.7 (6.3)
  • Saint John, N.B. 6.1 (6.8)
  • Saguenay, Que. 6.0 (6.0)
  • Quebec 3.9 (4.4)
  • Sherbrooke, Que. 5.9 (5.7)
  • Trois-Rivieres, Que. 4.5 (5.0)
  • Montreal 6.1 (6.6)
  • Gatineau, Que. 5.0 (5.4)
  • Ottawa 5.7 (5.9)
  • Kingston, Ont. 5.6 (5.8)
  • Peterborough, Ont. 4.9 (5.4)
  • Oshawa, Ont. 5.5 (5.4)
  • Toronto 6.0 (5.9)
  • Hamilton, Ont. 4.6 (4.2)
  • St. Catharines-Niagara, Ont. 6.8 (7.1)
  • Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, Ont. 4.9 (5.0)
  • Brantford, Ont. 4.7 (4.8)
  • Guelph, Ont. 6.1 (6.7)
  • London, Ont. 6.2 (6.3)
  • Windsor, Ont. 6.1 (6.3)
  • Barrie, Ont. 3.3 (3.4)
  • Sudbury, Ont. 6.7 (6.2)
  • Thunder Bay, Ont. 6.3 (6.1)
  • Winnipeg 5.6 (5.7)
  • Regina 4.7 (4.8)
  • Saskatoon 7.6 (7.6)
  • Calgary 7.5 (7.8)
  • Edmonton 7.5 (7.8)
  • Kelowna, B.C. 6.3 (6.1)
  • Abbotsford, B.C. 4.7 (4.9)
  • Vancouver 4.1 (4.2)
  • Victoria 3.4 (3.3)