Gains in construction pull up Ontario employment in May

Ontario employment in May showed stronger gains than Canada. Employment in Ontario increased by 21,600 jobs compared to 14,000 jobs across the country. Ontario gains in construction acted as the main driver. The construction industry added 24,600 jobs last month.

The fall in the unemployment rate was mixed news. The drop to 6.6 per cent from 7 per cent is in part due to strength in employment and to a fall in participation rates for youth and core aged workers.

While both these labour market indicators are moving in the right direction, they still have some way to go as month-to-month numbers continue to fluctuate and gains are not far ahead of the standard error.

The month of May also recorded increases in full-time employment of 40,100 jobs, adding almost double the lost jobs from last month. Part-time employment recorded 46,800 jobs lost.

The youth unemployment rate fell from 14.8 per cent to 13.6 per cent as the labour markets eased up for that group.

The goods-producing sector displayed strength by adding 20,300 jobs. This growth was led by job gains in construction and manufacturing industries. Although manufacturing employment grew 0.5 per cent in May, after showing small declines in recent months, this increase is smaller than the standard error.

Employment in the services-producing sector remained unchanged. Wholesale and retail trade employment showed considerable weakness with 16,300 jobs lost. These losses were balanced with job gains in public administration and other services. Employment trends in the service sector for Ontario mirrored national trends for the service sector in May.

Ontario jobs by the numbers:

Unemployment rate = 6.6% (up from 6.5% in May 2015)

Employment rate = 60.9% (down from 61% in May 2015)

Job creation = 81,400 full time jobs from May 2015 to May 2016; -2,600 part-time jobs

Youth unemployment rate = 13.6% (down from 14.6% in May 2015)


Zohra Jamasi is a PhD candidate and economic researcher with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Ontario Office. Follow her on twitter @ZohraJamasi. 

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