Statistics Canada released its monthly report on Employment, Earnings, Hours and Job Vacancies for May 2022. Based on the report, the number of employees in Canada receiving wages or benefits from their employer has decreased by the first time since May 2021.
The survey, compiled with data from the Employment, Payroll and Hours Survey, shows that 26,000 jobs are no longer on the payroll as of May. The largest decreases were seen in Ontario and Manitoba, which recorded 30,000 and 2,500 job vacancies, respectively. British Columbia was the only province that reported an increase in payroll employees.
Payroll employees are decreasing in most industries
Some of the most significant decreases have been seen in the service manufacturing sector which has seen a loss of more than 17,000 payroll jobs in sectors such as education services, health care and social care.
There has also been a significant decline in construction jobs across all sectors of the industry. More than 17,500 jobs were lost in May, marking the first decrease since July 2021. Most construction jobs were lost in Ontario, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the decline in employment in that sector. This loss is largely attributed to strikes across the province that caused significant delays on several projects.
Retail still has a higher employment rate than in 2021
Ontario also experienced the largest decline in retail employment in the country. This marks the second consecutive month of a decrease in employees in the retail trade professions. However, the current employment rate in retail is still 6% higher than in May 2021. Contrary to Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador all reported increases in retail employment. .
The only sector that showed growth in each province was the professional, scientific and technical services sector, which saw more than 10,000 jobs gain, mainly in technology occupations such as computer systems design and related services.
Average weekly earnings increased by 2.5%
Despite the loss of jobs, the largest increase in weekly earnings in May occurred in retail, which increased by 9.3% over the same period in 2021. Wages for professional, scientific and technical services are increased by 8.1%. By comparison, the largest decrease in average weekly earnings occurred in the arts, entertainment and leisure sectors, which recorded a 9.7% decline.
The average weekly pay for employees increased 2.5% from the April report. This is likely the result of an increase in wages or changes in the employment of workers. The report found that the higher average was not due to an increase in hours worked, which remained the same as in April at 1.5% above pre-covid levels.
These data also show a continuation of the general trend towards year-over-year increases. In May, New Brunswick recorded the largest increase compared to May 2021, climbing to 7.4%. This was closely followed by Newfoundland and Labrador at 5.9%. Seven other provinces also recorded year-over-year increases in average wages.
Job vacancies continue to rise in the healthcare sector
Canada’s unemployment rate in May was an all-time low of 5.1% (it dropped further to 4.9% in June). According to the survey, the job vacancy rate in the health care and social services sectors increased significantly to 143,000 jobs, or 6.1%. This is a significant increase from the vacancy rate in April, which was 5.4% and 20% higher than in May 2021.
Both Nova Scotia and Manitoba had job vacancy rates above 10% in May, largely within the accommodation and restaurant services sector, which reported 161,000 job vacancies. This is the thirteenth consecutive month of accommodation and catering that has the most vacancies.
Low unemployment and high jobs
There are over a million job vacancies in Canada. This is consistent with April data, but up by more than 300,000 vacancies since May 2021. The high job vacancy rate, combined with the low unemployment rate outlined by the May 2022 Labor Force Survey, indicates a growing labor shortage in several sectors and an increased need for immigration to Canada as its workforce reaches retirement age. Canada is currently planning to invite the highest ever number of permanent residents in 2022 with a goal of more than 430,000. The target will continue to rise to over 450,000 in 2024.
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