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 sees strong growth in November 2017
- Employment increased by 43,500 in the province in November 2017.
- Job gains were seen in both full-time (+25,300) and part-time positions (+18,200).
- The unemployment rate dropped from 5.9% in October 2017 to 5.5% in November 2017.
Employment in Ontario saw a significant change in November 2017 continuing a trend of five consecutive months of job growth. There was a fairly solid monthly gain of 43,500, where the increase came from jumps in both full-time and part-time work. The provincial unemployment rate also decline by 0.4 percentage points to 5.5% in November 2017, reaching lows not seen since December 1999. Given that the Ontario labour force figure increased by 10,700 for the month, this further highlights the positivity of this month's report. Similarly, the unemployment rate for Ontario's youth aged 15 to 24 increased by 0.3 percentage points to 10.9%. This currently sits slightly below the national figure of 11.1%.
Across Canada, employment continued its positive streak in November 2017 after a year's worth of consecutive monthly gains. Employment rose by 79,500, which is a monthly gain magnitude not seen since April 2012. Both full-time (+29,600) and part-time (+49,900) employment levels surged. With the labour force numbers remaining stagnant, nearly all of the employment came from a reduction in the unemployed population, which explains the 0.4 percentage point decline in the national unemployment rate to 5.9%, a level not seen since February 2008.
The national employment increase was driven primarily by the substantial gain in Ontario, followed by moderate gains in British Columbia and Quebec. There was also a boost on the wages front in October. Average hourly wages grew by 2.8% across Canada over the past year, with consistent monthly wage increases since May. The trade environment is expected to continue its recent lacklustre trend and this may impact this month's momentum going forward.
The United States total nonfarm payroll employment release for November is expected to come in at an increase of approximately 190,000. While still a fair increase, it would be much lower than the 261,000 increase seen in October 2017. However this would still imply 86-months of continuous U.S. job growth. The unemployment rate for November is expected to either remain at its current level of 4.1%, or inch up 0.1 percentage point to 4.2%. As in October 2017, despite the expected solid job report, wage growth is again expected to remain stagnant, a focal point for some analysts given the potential for another interest rate hike in the near future.
Over the past year, the provincial labour market continues to be quite robust. Employment increased by 180,800 between November 2016 and November 2017. Further, all of these job gains were in full-time work--an encouraging sign. The unemployment rate also fell by 0.7 percentage points to 5.5% and the participation rate inched up to 65.0% over this same period.
|Seasonally adjusted monthly data||November 2017||October 2017||November 2016||Monthly variation||Yearly variation|
|Population 15 + ('000)||11,756.9||11,741.3||11,581.3||15.6||0.1||175.6||1.5|
|Labour force ('000)||7,638.8||7,628.1||7,508.0||10.7||0.1||130.8||1.7|
|Unemployment rate (%)||5.5||5.9||6.2||-0.4||-||-0.7||-|
|Participation rate (%)||65.0||65.0||64.8||0.0||-||0.2||-|
|Employment rate (%)||61.4||61.1||60.8||0.3||-||0.6||-|
Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey – CANSIM Table 282-0087
Show data table: Ontario monthly employment and unemployment rate
|Unemployment rate (%)||Employment ('000)|
|25 years and over||4.5||5.1||5.0||-0.6||-0.5|
|Men - 25 years and over||4.7||5.4||5.2||-0.7||-0.5|
|Women - 25 years and over||4.2||4.8||4.8||-0.6||-0.6|
|15 to 24 years||11.2||10.9||13.5||0.3||-2.3|
|Men - 15 to 24 years||12.4||12.3||14.7||0.1||-2.3|
|Women - 15 to 24 years||9.9||9.4||12.3||0.5||-2.4|
Employment by industry
Employment grew in the goods-producing sector in Ontario in November 2017
The goods-producing sector posted employment gains of 16,000 in November 2017. The employment expansion was supported by the manufacturing industry, which increased by 15,300, and a small gain in the construction industry, which increased by 2,300. All other industries declined marginally.
Manufacturing employment has grown steadily since August 2017. The industry now makes up 10.9% of total employment in Ontario, an increase of 0.3 percentage points from November 2016. The Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) increased slightly this month, from 54.3 in October to 54.4 in November. At the national level, new orders and employment expanded, but was offset by slower production. Although Canada's manufacturing growth pace was little changed in November, Ontario recorded a sustained acceleration.Footnote1
One notable expansion included the announcement to reopen the Buchanan Forest Products' Nakina sawmill in Greenstone, which had closed in 2008, and is expected to create about 50 to 80 jobs.Footnote2 As well, Olymel LP invested $30M to expand their meat processing plant in Brampton, and acquire and redevelop another nearby manufacturing facility. The investment is expected to create 100 jobs.Footnote3 While November was a positive month for the industry, Reynolds Consumer Products Inc. will close an aluminum foil plant in Toronto by the end of 2018, laying off 100 unionized workers.Footnote4
Compared to November 2016, employment in the goods-producing sector was up 54,400. Year-over-year growth was driven by the manufacturing (+44,800) and construction (+16,400) industries, while employment in utilities (-4,100) and agriculture declined (-4,100).
Employment in the services-producing sector increased in November 2017
The services-producing sector posted an increase of 27,500 in November 2017. The employment expansion was driven by gains in wholesale and retail trade (+29,700) and educational services (+12,000), with a small gain in accommodation and food services (+5,300). Transportation and warehousing (-7,500), health care and social assistance (-6,900), and professional, scientific and technical services (-4,800) posted the largest declines.
Despite employment gains in November and annual gains in wholesaleFootnote5 and retail trade salesFootnote6 in September 2017, there were a number of large layoff announcements in the retail trade industry. Sobey's Incorporated, Canada's second largest grocery chain after Loblaw Cos Ltd., announced plans to eliminate 800 office positions across CanadaFootnote7 and Loblaw Companies Limited also plans to close 22 unprofitable stores by early 2018.Footnote8 This followed a number of large layoff announcements in October, including Sears CanadaFootnote9 and Metro Inc.Footnote10
Although employment declined in the transportation and warehousing industry this month, a number of expansions were announced. Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) will hire up to 58 additional full-time bus drivers to cover gaps in service and Toyota Canada Inc. will begin construction of a new $40M parts distribution centre in Bowmanville that will open in the fall of 2019. Footnote11,Footnote12 In addition, the Government of Ontario is investing $61M to build two new ferries in Kingston to connect the mainland with Amherst and Wolfe Islands. The ferries are expected to be delivered in December 2019 for Amherst Island and 2020 for Wolfe Island.Footnote13
Compared to November 2016, employment in the services-producing sector expanded by 126,300. Gains were most pronounced in wholesale and retail trade (+77,400) and professional, scientific and technical services (+46,200). Business, building and other support services recorded the largest decline (-26,100), followed by information, culture and recreation (-6,700).
|Seasonally adjusted data ('000)||November 2017||October 2017||November 2016||Monthly variation||Yearly variation|
|Total employed, all industries||7,220.8||7,177.3||7,040.0||43.5||0.6||180.8||2.6|
|Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying,
oil and gas
|Transportation and warehousing||345.0||352.5||326.0||-7.5||-2.1||19.0||5.8|
|Finance, insurance, real estate
and technical services
and other support services
|Health care and social assistance||863.9||870.8||844.6||-6.9||-0.8||19.3||2.3|
|Information, culture and recreation||320.3||318.8||327.0||1.5||0.5||-6.7||-2.0|
|Accommodation and food services||467.9||462.6||466.2||5.3||1.1||1.7||0.4|
Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey – CANSIM Table 282-0088
Job gains concentrated in central and northern Ontario in November 2017
Employment increased in the Toronto economic region by 119,300 between November 2016 and November 2017 (measured on a year-over-year seasonally unadjusted basis). The regional unemployment rate dropped over the past year by 1.1 percentage points to sit at 5.5%. Toronto continued to add to its technology and innovation footprint with several developments in November. The Government of Ontario announced that it would invest up to $5M in Think Research Corporation to support the expansion of its health care software platform, which will create 228 jobs.Footnote14 The Government of Canada also announced that it would invest about $400,000 in Clear Blue Technologies Inc. as the company expands its smart grid technology to overseas markets creating 33 jobs.Footnote15 Further, Tencent Cloud (Beijing) Co., Ltd. will work with OTT Financial Group to build a Tencent Cloud Business Accelerator Centre in Toronto that will help grow technology-based entrepreneurship.Footnote16
Labour market conditions remained strong in the Kitchener--Waterloo--Barrie economic region. Employment increased by 27,000 and the regional unemployment rate fell to just 4.0% between November 2016 and November 2017. The participation rate also climbed to 67.8%, the highest among all regions in Ontario. The construction industry has been a bright spot for the Kitchener--Waterloo--Barrie area as of late. Construction got underway on the Barrie-Simcoe Emergency Services Campus valued at $103.3M.Footnote17 Work is ongoing on the Mirexus Biotechnologies Inc. plant in Guelph, which will open in June 2018.Footnote18 Lastly, there are plans to build an additional skate park in Kitchener with construction likely to start next summer.Footnote19
Hamilton--Niagara Peninsula had another solid performance with an employment gain of 24,300 over the past year. All of the job gains were in full-time work. The unemployment rate dropped to 4.7%, as it declined for the fourth month in a row. One of the larger developments for the local manufacturing base was the launch of the SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions facility in the Ancaster Business Park.Footnote20 The construction industry also saw a few projects advance this month. Work started on a Courtyard Marriot hotel worth $22M in Burlington,Footnote21 and the Government of Ontario will invest up to $3M in the Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre slated for construction in the spring of 2018.Footnote22
Stratford--Bruce Peninsula saw healthy job gains between November 2016 and November 2017. To help support Bruce Power's Life-Extension Program, Sargent & Lundy, L.L.C. announced that it would open a second location in Kincardine to provide engineering and consulting services. The office will accommodate 20 professionals.Footnote23 Employment also grew in the Northwest region. The public sector received a boost as the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board announced that it would hire teachers, caretakers, librarians, and administrative staff.Footnote24 The Lakehead Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic plans to add to its medical and administrative team as well in Thunder Bay.Footnote25
Elsewhere in the province, employment rose in the Northeast and Windsor--Sarnia economic regions while conditions were unchanged in Muskoka--Kawarthas between November 2016 and November 2017.
Weaker employment growth in eastern Ontario in November 2017
The Kingston--Pembroke economic region saw the largest drop in employment with a loss of 13,800 between November 2016 and November 2017. At the same time, the regional unemployment rate climbed 0.9 percentage points to 5.8% and the participation rate dipped to 57.1%. Employment also fell in the Ottawa economic region during this period. The announcement by Postmedia Network Inc. and Torstar Corporation to shutter several local newspapers across the province will have a significant impact in eastern Ontario over the coming weeks, as 15 publications will cease.Footnote26 However, a couple of recent developments may help provide a lift especially to the Kingston--Pembroke manufacturing industry. Bombardier Inc. announced that it would hire 70 staff at its Millhaven facility to meet demand for light rail vehicles used for transportation projects in Waterloo, Edmonton, and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.Footnote27 As well, Hain Celestial Canada announced that it would open a manufacturing plant in Quinte West by the summer of 2020, which will create 26 jobs.Footnote28
Employment decreased slightly in the London economic region over the past year as well. All of the job losses were in full-time work and the unemployment rate inched up to 5.6% between November 2016 and November 2017.
|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
IHS Markit. (2017, December 1). IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing PMI. IHS Markit. Retrieved from: https://www.markiteconomics.com/Survey/PressRelease.mvc/3d8a008b700a4ef6ad487ae997612f78
- Footnote 2
Walters, Jeff. (2017, November 2). Nakina Lumber Inc. taking first steps to re-opening. CBC News. Retrieved from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/nakina-lumber-inc-reopening-1.4384733
- Footnote 3
CanadianManufacturing.com staff. (2017, November 15). Olymel invests $30M in expansion at two Brampton, Ont. plants. CanadianManufacturing.com. Retrieved from: https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/reynolds-to-close-toronto-alcan-foil-plant-by-the-end-of-the-year/article36838665/
- Footnote 4
Keenan, Greg. (2017, November 5). Reynolds to close Toronto Alcan foil plant by the end of next year. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from: https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/reynolds-to-close-toronto-alcan-foil-plant-by-the-end-of-the-year/article36838665/
- Footnote 5
Statistics Canada. (2017, December 1). CANSIM Table 081-0011, Wholesale trade, sales by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), monthly (dollars). Retrieved from: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?lang=eng&id=810011
- Footnote 6
Statistics Canada. (2017, December 1). CANSIM Table 080-0020, Retail trade, sales by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), monthly (dollars). Retrieved from: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?lang=eng&id=800020
- Footnote 7
The Canadian Press. (2017, November 24). Sobeys to lay off 800 workers across Canada. CBC News. Retried from http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/business/sobeys-layoffs-office-jobs-1.4417481
- Footnote 8
Shakir, Taenaz. (2017, November 15). Loblaw says to close 22 stores by early 2018. Thomson Reuters. Retrieved from: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-loblaw-results/loblaw-says-to-close-22-stores-by-early-2018-idUSKBN1DF1NZ
- Footnote 9
Alini, E. (2017, October 11). Sears Canada: Here's how many jobs each province will lose. Global News. Retrieved from: https://globalnews.ca/news/3797128/sears-canada-ontario-quebec-job-losses/
- Footnote 10
Marowits, R. (2017, October 11). Metro to eliminate 280 jobs in overhaul of Ontario distribution network. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from: https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/metro-to-eliminate-280-jobs-in-overhaul-of-ontario-distribution-network/article36538030/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&
- Footnote 11
Van Dongen, Matthew. (2017, November 9). HSR to hire up to 58 extra drivers to help resolve absenteeism. The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved from: https://www.thespec.com/news-story/7880682-hsr-to-hire-up-to-58-extra-drivers-to-help-resolve-absenteeism/
- Footnote 12
Government of Ontario, Ministry of Transportation. (2017, November 6). Ontario Building New Wolfe Island and Amherst Island Ferries. Retrieved from: https://news.ontario.ca/mto/en/2017/11/ontario-building-new-wolfe-island-and-amherst-island-ferries-1.html
- Footnote 13
CanadianManufacturing.com staff. Toyota Canada investing $40M to build new distribution centre in Bowmanville, Ont. CanadianManufacturing.com Retrieved from: https://www.canadianmanufacturing.com/operations/toyota-canada-building-new-parts-distribution-centre-bowmanville-ont-204249/
- Footnote 14
Galang, J. (2017, November 27). Ontario investing up to $5 million in Think Research to create 228 jobs in Toronto. BetaKit Incorporated. Retrieved from: https://betakit.com/ontario-investing-up-to-5-million-in-think-research-to-create-228-jobs-in-toronto/
- Footnote 15
Cleantech Canada Staff. (2017, November 20). Smart grid firm Clear Blue spending $1.2M to scale up Toronto operations. Cleantech Canada. Retrieved from: https://www.canadianmanufacturing.com/financing/smart-grid-firm-clear-blue-spending-1-2m-scale-toronto-operations-204502/
- Footnote 16
OTT Pay. (2017, November 27). Tencent Cloud and OTT Pay to Build Tencent Business Accelerator Centre in Canada. CNW Group Ltd. Retrieved from: http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/tencent-cloud-and-ott-pay-to-build-tencent-cloud-business-accelerator-centre-in-canada-660277923.html
- Footnote 17
Sgambati, S. (2017, November 01). Goundbreaking ceremony at Barrie-Simcoe Emergency Services Campus. BarrieToday.com. Retrieved from: https://www.barrietoday.com/local-news/groundbreaking-ceremony-at-barrie-simcoe-emergency-services-campus-755272
- Footnote 18
CanadianManufacturing.com Staff. (2017, November 24). Feds invest $1M in bioproducts start-up building Guelph, Ont. manufacturing plant. Canadian Manufacturing. Retrieved from: https://www.canadianmanufacturing.com/technology/feds-invest-1m-bioproducts-start-building-guelph-ont-manufacturing-plant-204814/
- Footnote 19
Thompson, C. (2017, November 23). Kitchener begins planning for new skate park in south end. Waterloo Region Record. Retrieved from: https://www.therecord.com/news-story/7961041-kitchener-begins-planning-for-new-skate-park-in-south-end/
- Footnote 20
Downey, D. (2017, November 03). Suez Ancaster marks official opening of new ozone production facility. Ancaster News. Retrieved from: https://www.hamiltonnews.com/news-story/7771269-suez-ancaster-marks-official-opening-of-new-ozone-production-facility/
- Footnote 21
Fehir, D. (2017, November 16). $22-million Courtyard Marriot coming to Burlington. Daily Commercial News. Retrieved from: https://canada.constructconnect.com/dcn/news/Projects/2017/11/22-million-Courtyard-Marriott-coming-to-Burlington-1029007W
- Footnote 22
CBC News. (2017, November 13). Province gives $3M to community arts centre in Ancaster. CBC News. Retrieved from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/ancaster-memorial-arts-centre-funding-annoucement-1.4400279
- Footnote 23
Bruce Power. (2017, November 01). Sargent & Lundy further expands its presence in Bruce County. Bruce Power. Retrieved from: http://www.brucepower.com/sargent-lundy-further-expands-in-bruce-county/
- Footnote 24
CKDR 92.7FM Dryden. (2017, November 07). Public School Board Holding Recruitment Fair In Sioux Lookout. Acadia Broadcasting Ltd. Retrieved from: http://www.ckdr.net/news/1872899757/public-school-board-holding-recruitment-fair-sioux-lookout
- Footnote 25
CBC News. (2017, November 10). Thunder Bay clinic to hire more staff, see more patients, extend office hours. CBC News. Retrieved from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/thunder-bay-lnplc-1.4397015
- Footnote 26
CBC News. (2017, November 27). Postmedia shutting down Metro Ottawa, 14 eastern Ontario newspapers. CBC News. Retrieved from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/postmedia-torstar-sale-closing-metro-ottawa-1.4420952
- Footnote 27
Kingston Whig-Standard. (2017, November 23). Bombardier to add 70 staff for light rail projects. The Kingston Whig-Standard. Retrieved from: http://www.thewhig.com/2017/11/23/bombardier-to-add-70-staff-for-light-rail-projects
- Footnote 28
CanadianManufacturing.com Staff. (2017, November 06). Organic food firm Hain Celestial spending $10M to build new plant east of Toronto. Canadian Manufacturing. Retrieved from: https://www.canadianmanufacturing.com/manufacturing/organic-food-firm-hain-celestial-spending-10m-build-new-plant-east-toronto-203921/