This Labour Market Bulletin provides an analysis of Labour Force Survey results for the province of Ontario, including the regions of Hamilton–Niagara Peninsula, Kingston–Pembroke, Kitchener–Waterloo–Barrie, London, Muskoka–Kawarthas, Northeast, Northwest, Ottawa, Stratford–Bruce Peninsula, Toronto and Windsor–Sarnia.
Labour Force Trends – Ontario employment driven higher by part-time employment in October
- Ontario employment figures increased by 25,400 in October for a third consecutive monthly gain
- Decline in full-time employment (-7,200) more than offset by part-time employment (+32,600) gains
- The unemployment rate dropped to 6.4%, down 0.2 percentage points from the previous month.
In October, Ontario employment climbed by 25,400 for a third consecutive monthly increase. However, this increase was driven entirely by part-time employment gains (+32,600), which more than offset a drop in full-time employment (-7,200). The provincial unemployment rate dropped 0.2 percentage points, from September, to 6.4% as unemployment declined by 10,400 over the month. The labour force expanded by 15,000, as the participation rate remained steady at 64.8%. Apart from August 2016 when the participation rate was 64.6%, the participation rate remains at lows not previously seen since February 1978.
In Canada, employment increased by 43,900 in October largely differing from forecasts which expected an employment decline of 10,000.Footnote1 However, the gains came completely from part-time employment (+67,100) while full-time employment dropped (-23,100). The national unemployment rate inched up slightly to 7.0%.
In the United States, total non-farm payroll employment was expected to increase by 175,000 but only reached 161,000 in October, a modest employment gain south of the border and the least number of jobs added in the last 5 months. However, the federal unemployment rate inched lower to 4.9%, and average hourly earnings increased by 2.8% from October 2015 to October 2016, which indicates a tightening U.S. labour market, despite the participation rate remaining near historically low levels. This job report may provide sufficient incentive for the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise its benchmark interest rate at its December meeting.Footnote2
Between October 2015 and October 2016, employment in Ontario increased by 77,100 year-over-year, with the majority of the gains coming from part-time employment. The unemployment rate dropped by 0.4 percentage points to 6.4%, due to a decrease of 23,600 in unemployment, year-over-year. However, the participation rate dropped by 0.4 percentage points, as the growth in population (+1.3%) continues to outpace the increase in labour force (+0.7%).
The unemployment rate for youth aged 15 to 24 in Ontario declined by 0.9 percentage points to 13.3% in October. The participation and employment rates also went up over the month, due to growth in youth labour force and employment figures. Youth employment in October was driven by part-time work (+31,300) which more than offset a drop in full-time employment (-17,800). This dynamic in full-time and part-time work for youths, similar to that of the province, appears to have been a key influencer to Ontario as those aged 25 and over experienced gains in both full-time (+10,700) and part-time (+1,300) employment. The provincial youth unemployment rate remained higher than the national youth unemployment rate of 13.0% in October.
|Seasonally adjusted monthly data||October 2016||September 2016||October 2015||Monthly variation||Yearly variation|
|Population 15 + ('000)||11,569.8||11,557.9||11,425.7||11.9||0.1||144.1||1.3|
|Labour force ('000)||7,499.6||7,484.6||7,446.1||15.0||0.2||53.5||0.7|
|Unemployment rate (%)||6.4||6.6||6.8||-0.2||-||-0.4||-|
|Participation rate (%)||64.8||64.8||65.2||0.0||-||-0.4||-|
|Employment rate (%)||60.7||60.5||60.8||0.2||-||-0.1||-|
Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey – CANSIM Table 282-0087
Show data table: Ontario monthly employment and unemployment rate
|Month||Unemployment rate (%)||Employment ('000)|
|25 years and over||5.3||5.3||5.4||0.0||-0.1|
|Men - 25 years and over||5.4||5.4||5.4||0.0||0.0|
|Women - 25 years and over||5.1||5.2||5.4||-0.1||-0.3|
|15 to 24 years||13.3||14.2||14.9||-0.9||-1.6|
|Men - 15 to 24 years||14.6||16.3||17.0||-1.7||-2.4|
|Women - 15 to 24 years||11.9||12.0||12.7||-0.1||-0.8|
Employment by industry
Construction drives most of the employment gains in the goods sector
The Ontario goods-producing sector gained 9,700 (+0.7%) in employment between September and October 2016, evening out the losses from the previous two months of declines. Employment gains were recorded in construction (15,300), agriculture (+1,200) and forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil, and gas (+1,100). However, there were employment losses in manufacturing (-6,500), and in utilities (-1,300) for the month.
Strong gains of 15,300 in construction employment propelled the provincial jobs growth in October, after a decline in September. Building permit values, particularly for the non-residential sector, have been gaining momentum over the past few months with increases of 13.2% and 7.2% in July and August 2016Footnote3, respectively. Housing starts, however, have not witnessed a similar impetus.Footnote4 The provincial non-residential sector has observed some noteworthy developments over the past month, with a number of funding announcements for educational institutions throughout Ontario, including at Laurentian University,Footnote5 Lambton College,Footnote6 Mohawk College,Footnote7 and Sheridan CollegeFootnote8. Significant engineering projects that commenced construction in October include phase one of the Maley Drive Extension ProjectFootnote9 in Sudbury and a new GO Transit bus storage and maintenance facilityFootnote10 in Kitchener.
Manufacturing sales are pointing towards a slowing of momentum for the manufacturing industry, as employment fell by 6,500 in October. Data from both the LFS and the Survey of Employees, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH) shows a year-over-year decline in employment from October of last year,Footnote11 while manufacturing sales have oscillated over the past 6 months with alternating months of increases and decreases.Footnote12 The Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) witnessed Ontario experiencing some of its slowest pace of production growth over the summer, with the index trending downwards for Canada throughout most of the year.Footnote13
One of the biggest news in the industry this month came from Blackberry Ltd., which announced that it will outsource the design and production of its Blackberry devices, affecting up to 100 employees by February 2017.Footnote14 Another manufacturer that has observed various rounds of restructuring includes Bombardier Inc., which announced it will eliminate 2,000 jobs in Canada, with 1,500 of those in Quebec. The potential impact on Ontario locations is currently unknown.Footnote15 There has been some job creation throughout the Ontario manufacturing industry to counter these potential losses including Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA Canada) hiring assembly line production workers in Windsor.Footnote16 More positive news included Unifor and the big three automakers coming to a series of agreements to avert strike action by auto workers. General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and FCA Canada have agreed to investments in Ontario going forward.
Over the past 12 months, employment in the goods-producing sector grew by 22,400, as gains were registered in construction (+31,200) and utilities (+3,700). Offsetting these gains were losses in forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas (-10,700), manufacturing (-900), and agriculture (-800) over the year.
Services-producing sector employment supported by gains in educational services
The Ontario services-producing sector recorded a growth of 15,700 in October, with gains recorded primarily in educational services (+11,700), trade (+6,900), and other services (+5,100). The biggest losses in employment in the sector were seen in information, culture and recreation (-6,800), and health care and social assistance (-4,000).
The retail trade industry is gearing up for the holiday season and the seasonal increase in employment, with Amazon.com Inc. preparing to hire more than 2,000 seasonal holiday workers in Canada, including hundreds in Ontario.Footnote17 These seasonal expansions are welcomed in an industry that has had many layoff announcements, with the Sears Outlet store in Chatham expected to close in October 2017 and putting 56 employees out of work.Footnote18
There have been noteworthy developments in the Ontario financial services industry, with Laurentian Bank of Canada announcing it will eliminate 300 jobs mostly through attrition,Footnote19 and National Bank of Canada planning to lay off about 600 workers in Canada.Footnote20 The potential impact on Ontario is not known at this time, but both banks are headquartered in neighbouring Quebec. The provincial administrative and support industry observed several large hiring announcements in October from TransCom Canada in Barrie, which announced it will add 300 positions,Footnote21 and Sutherland Global Services in Windsor, which is looking to fill 200 vacancies.Footnote22
The information and cultural industry continues to go through significant changes as it adapts to an ever-changing media landscape. Rogers Communications Inc. announced that it will decrease print publications for numerous magazines, while others will turn into online-only editions, due mainly to declining print revenues.Footnote23 These announcements have the potential to impact a number of jobs in the industry, primarily in Toronto.
Over the past 12 months, employment in the services-producing sector grew by 54,700. Industries that gained the most year-over-year include accommodation and food services (+6,800) and health care and social assistance (+21,300), while industries with the largest losses year-over-year include business, building and other support services (-13,000) and other services (-9,300).
|Seasonally adjusted data ('000)||October 2016||September 2016||October 2015||Monthly variation||Yearly variation|
|Total employed, all industries||7,018.7||6,993.3||6,941.6||25.4||0.4||77.1||1.1|
|Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying,
oil and gas
|Transportation and warehousing||330.5||330.5||328.4||0.0||0.0||2.1||0.6|
|Finance, insurance, real estate
and technical services
and other support services
|Health care and social assistance||838.7||842.7||817.4||-4.0||-0.5||21.3||2.6|
|Information, culture and recreation||318.8||325.6||309.8||-6.8||-2.1||9.0||2.9|
|Accommodation and food services||464.1||464.4||440.9||-0.3||-0.1||23.2||5.3|
Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey – CANSIM Table 282-0088
Growth in Ontario led by the Windsor–Sarnia region in October
Over the past year, employment grew by 19,300 in the Windsor–Sarnia economic region, and the unemployment rate fell by two percentage points to 6.0% as a result.Footnote24 The unemployment rate is at its lowest point since the 2008 recession, but labour market participation in the region has not yet recovered to pre-recession levels. In October, Windsor–Sarnia's large manufacturing base was supported by news that Cutting-Edge Technologies Ltd. in Tecumseh has added more than 50 employees to its workforce after a $10M expansion.Footnote25 Also, Cross Country Manufacturing, a manufacturer of industrial trailers, will be expanding its Blenheim facility. The project is expected to be completed by summer 2017 and will create 100 jobs.Footnote26
The Kingston–Pembroke economic region registered an employment gain of 18,000 between October 2015 and October 2016. The regional labour market was strengthened by increased workforce participation, a decrease in the unemployment rate, and gains in both full-time and part-time employment.
Employment rose in the Muskoka–Kawarthas economic region by 17,500 in the past year. As one of the smaller regions in the province, Muskoka–Kawarthas employment figures demonstrate a greater degree of volatility. However, the region saw several positive labour market announcements in October, such as the expansion of the Bata Research and Innovation Cluster at Trent University in Peterborough.Footnote27
Growth in the Toronto economic region slowed in October, as the region posted an employment gain of 6,700, and the unemployment rate held steady at 7.3%. The retail trade industry remained strong in October with a large number of store opening announcements such as Walmart Canada's new 136,000-sq.-ft. store in Mississauga,Footnote28 and Saks Fifth Avenue's two new locations in Pickering and Brampton.Footnote29
Employment also rose in the Stratford–Bruce Peninsula, Ottawa, Northwest, and Northeast economic region, while employment was flat in Hamilton–Niagara Peninsula.
Kitchener–Waterloo–Barrie and London registered the only employment losses in the province
Employment fell in the Kitchener–Waterloo–Barrie economic region by 14,600 between October 2015 and October 2016. However, the unemployment rate remained one of the lowest in Ontario as fewer people looked for work. Employment losses were concentrated in the services-producing sector, offsetting growth in the goods-producing sectors. Despite the employment decline, the manufacturing industry performed well in October, bolstered by the announcement that Clearpath Robotics Inc. secured a US$30M expansion investment. The firm expects to double the size of its current workforce of 150 employees in the coming year.Footnote30
The London economic region saw an employment decline of 7,700 over the previous year. The participation rate also saw a noticeable drop from 65.5% to 62.9%, and the unemployment rate declined as a result. However, the construction industry received a significant investment as the Government of Canada and Western University will invest $45M each to support the construction of a new research building and a new innovation centre.Footnote31
|3-month moving averages
seasonally unadjusted data
Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey – CANSIM Table 282-0122
In preparing this document, the authors have taken care to provide clients with labour market information that is timely and accurate at the time of publication. Since labour market conditions are dynamic, some of the information presented here may have changed since this document was published. Users are encouraged to also refer to other sources for additional information on the local economy and labour market. Information contained in this document does not necessarily reflect official policies of Employment and Social Development Canada.
Prepared by: Labour Market Information (LMI) Division, Ontario
For further information, please contact the LMI team.
For information on the Labour Force Survey, please visit the Statistics Canada website.
- Footnote 1
Trading Economics. (2016, November 4). Canada Employment Change. Trading Economics. Retrieved from: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/canada/employment-change
- Footnote 2
Thielman, Sam. (2016, November 4). US adds 161,000 new jobs as Americans head to polls. The Guardian. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/nov/04/us-adds-jobs-october-unemployment-rate-election
- Footnote 3
Statistics Canada. (2016, October). CANSIM Table 026-0006, Building permits, by type of structure and area, seasonally adjusted monthly (dollars unless otherwise noted). Statistics Canada. Retrieved from: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?lang=eng&id=260006
- Footnote 4
Statistics Canada. (2016, October). CANSIM Table 027-0054, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, housing starts, all areas, Canada and provinces, seasonally adjusted at annual rates, monthly (units x 1,000). Statistics Canada. Retrieved from: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?lang=eng&retrLang=eng&id=0270054&&pattern=&stByVal=1&p1=1&p2=-1&tabMode=dataTable&csid=
- Footnote 5
Laurentian University. (2016, September 23). Canadian and Ontario governments invest $27.4 million in infrastructure at Laurentian. Laurentian University. Retrieved from: https://laurentian.ca/RIE
- Footnote 6
Morden, P. (2016, September 23). Lambton College announces $11.8-million renovation. Sarnia Observer. Retrieved from: http://www.theobserver.ca/2016/09/23/lambton-college-announces-118-million-renovation
- Footnote 7
Noseworthy, K. (2016, September 30). Ottawa gives Mohawk College $20M for new technology lab building. Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved from: http://www.thespec.com/news-story/6887363-ottawa-gives-mohawk-college-20m-for-new-technology-lab-building/
- Footnote 8
Government of Canada. (2016, October 7). Canada and Ontario invest in infrastructure at Sheridan College. Government of Canada Newsroom. Retrieved from: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?mthd=advSrch&crtr.mnthndVl=&crtr.mnthStrtVl=&crtr.page=1&nid=1134489&crtr.yrndVl=&crtr.kw=sheridan+college&crtr.yrStrtVl=&crtr.dyStrtVl=&crtr.dyndVl=
- Footnote 9
Keown, M. (2016, October 12). Work on Maley Drive has started. Sudbury Star. Retrieved from: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2016/10/12/work-on-maley-drive-has-started
- Footnote 10
Ontario Ministry of Transportation. (2016, October 21). Ontario Improving Transit for Commuters in Kitchener-Waterloo. Ontario Newsroom. Retrieved from: https://news.ontario.ca/mto/en/2016/10/ontario-improving-transit-for-commuters-in-kitchener-waterloo.html
- Footnote 11
Statistics Canada. (2016, October). CANSIM Table 281-0023, Employment by type of employee and detailed North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), unadjusted for seasonality, monthly (persons). Statistics Canada. Retrieved from: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?lang=eng&retrLang=eng&id=2810023&&pattern=&stByVal=1&p1=1&p2=31&tabMode=dataTable&csid=
- Footnote 12
Statistics Canada. (2016, October). CANSIM Table 304-0015, Manufacturing sales, by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and province monthly (dollars x 1,000). Statistics Canada. Retrieved from: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?lang=eng&id=3040015
- Footnote 13
Markit Economics. (2016, November 1). Markit Canada Manufacturing PMI. Markit Economics. Retrieved from: https://www.markiteconomics.com/Survey/PressRelease.mvc/4a69702945204f44aa551ecf183f9e3a
- Footnote 14
Sagan, A. (2016, September 28). BlackBerry to leave smartphone hardware business. Guelph Mercury Tribune. Retrieved from: http://www.guelphmercury.com/news-story/6882771-blackberry-to-leave-smartphone-hardware-business/
- Footnote 15
Marowits, R. (2016, October 21). Bombardier announces 2,000 cuts in Canada; 5,500 more worldwide. Global News. Retrieved from: http://globalnews.ca/news/3017508/bombardier-announces-2000-job-cuts-in-canada-5500-more-worldwide/
- Footnote 16
Thorne, L. (2016, October 18). FCA Hiring Production Team Members. Windsorite News. Retrieved from: http://windsorite.ca/2016/10/fca-hiring-production-team-members/
- Footnote 17
Patnaik S. and Ganapavaram A. (2016, October 13). Amazon to hire over 2,000 seasonal workers for holidays. BNN. Retrieved from: http://www.bnn.ca/amazon-to-hire-more-than-2-000-seasonal-workers-in-canada-for-holidays-1.584332
- Footnote 18
Terfloth, T. (2016, October 26). Sears won't renew lease at DCC. Chatham Daily News. Retrieved from: http://www.chathamdailynews.ca/2016/10/26/sears-wont-renew-lease-at-dcc
- Footnote 19
CTV Montreal Staff. (2016, September 28). Laurentian Bank to close branches, lay off hundreds. CTV Montreal. Retrieved from: http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/laurentian-bank-to-close-branches-lay-off-hundreds-1.3092995
- Footnote 20
Freeman, S. (2016, October 27). National Bank cuts jobs in shift to digital. Toronto Star. Retrieved from: https://www.thestar.com/business/2016/10/27/national-bank-to-cut-600-jobs-add-500-new-hires-in-shift-to-digital.html
- Footnote 21
Dunning, J. (2016, September 23). Transcom in Barrie hiring for 300 new jobs. Barrie Advance. Retrieved from: http://www.simcoe.com/news-story/6862178-transcom-in-barrie-hiring-for-300-new-jobs/
- Footnote 22
Windsorite News Staff. (2016, October 27). Sutherland Hiring 200+ Over Coming Months. Windsorite News. Retrieved from: http://windsorite.ca/2016/10/sutherland-hiring-200-over-coming-months-job-fair-set-for-november-2nd/
- Footnote 23
Posadzki, A. (2016, September 30). Rogers announces magazine overhaul. CTV News. Retrieved from: http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/rogers-announces-magazine-overhaul-will-stop-printing-4-publications-1.3095964
- Footnote 24
Measured on a year-over-year seasonally unadjusted basis.
- Footnote 25
Stang, R. (2016, October 1). Metal firm on target after expansion. Windsor Business. Retrieved from: http://www.windsorbusiness.net/flip-books/2016-10-01/html5/
- Footnote 26
Ministry of Economic, Development, and Growth. (2016, October 13). Manufacturing investment in Blenheim. Ontario.ca. Retrieved from: https://news.ontario.ca/medg/en/2016/10/ontario-investing-in-advanced-manufacturing-in-blenheim.html
- Footnote 27
Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. (2016, October 12). Ontario Supporting Innovative Learning for Peterborough Residents. Ontario.ca. Retrieved from: https://news.ontario.ca/maesd/en/2016/10/ontario-supporting-innovative-learning-for-peterborough-students.html
- Footnote 28
Newport, A. (2016, October 26). Walmart at Erin Mills Centre Finally Set to Open in Mississauga. Insauga. Retrieved from: https://www.insauga.com/walmart-at-erin-mills-town-centre-finally-set-to-open-in-mississauga
- Footnote 29
Saks OFF 5TH Announces 2 More Canadian Stores. (2016, October 27). Retail Insider. Retrieved from: http://www.retail-insider.com/retail-insider/2016/10/saks-off-5th
- Footnote 30
Dingman, S. (2016, October 5). Clearpath Robotics raises $30-million to bring drones to factory floors. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/clearpath-robotics-raises-30-million-to-bring-drones-to-factory-floors/article32256654/
- Footnote 31
Winders, J. (2016, September 30). Fed investment backs new facilities, collaboration. Western News. Retrieved from: http://news.westernu.ca/2016/09/feds-back-new-facilities-45-million-investment/