If you scan the comments section of the Toronto Sun or ask any handful of Millennials about their outlook on the job market, you might think Canada’s economy is in the toilet.
Stats, however, suggest otherwise.
According to Statistics Canada’s recent Labour Force Survey, the country’s unemployment rate is currently the lowest since February 2008.
The most recent dip was buoyed by the addition of 80,000 new jobs in the month of November. Most importantly, these were primarily full-time positions. This is especially notable given that fewer Canadians have full-time, year-round work than ever before.
A 12-month snapshot reveals Canada added 390,000 jobs during the past year, which is a 2.1 per cent increase.
Some provinces, of course, returned more impressive figures than others. British Columbia boasts a leading unemployment rate of 4.8 per cent, while times are much tougher in the east: Newfoundland and Labrador, (14.4 per cent), Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island (8.8 per cent each) make up the bottom three.
While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has often been mocked as an economic liability, momentum for the current unemployment low actually started shortly after his election.
Encouragingly, many new positions in the job market included high-paying work. Of the 80,000 jobs created in November, 30,000 were in manufacturing, 21,000 jobs were in educational services, and 16,000 in construction.
It’s also interesting to look at who is getting jobs. According to the data, men between the ages of 25 to 54, youths aged 15 to 24, and women over the age of 55 benefitted the most from recent increases in employment. Overall, immigrants comprised nearly 25 per cent of the Canadian workforce in 2016.
With Ontario set to introduce a $15/hour minimum wage starting in January 2019, it will be interesting to see how these strong employment figures hold up in the near future.