Labour Market Bulletin - Ontario: August 2015

The Monthly Edition of the Labour Market Bulletin provides an analysis of monthly 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.

Overview

Labour Force Trends – Ontario employment down slightly in August

  • Growth in full-time work (+33,200) was not enough to offset a decline of part-time work (-37,300)
  • The unemployment rate jumped to 6.8%, from 6.4% in July
  • The unemployment rate for youth aged 15 to 24 dropped to 14.1%, from 14.8% in July

Ontario's employment was slightly lower (-3,900) in August with sizeable gains in full-time (+33,200) not quite enough to offset losses in part-time work (-37,300). The province's unemployment rate jumped 0.4 percentage points to 6.8%, although still remaining below the national average since May. The unemployment rate increase was a reflection of more individuals entering the labour force looking for work.

Nationally, employment saw a modest gain of 12,000 compared to July. Canada's employment growth came entirely from a sharp gain in full-time work (+54,400) which more than offset a decline in part-time work (-42,400). The unemployment rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 7.0%.

U.S. non-farm payroll employment added 173,000 jobs in August, coming in well below the expected 220,000, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.1%. The unemployment rate, which now falls within the U.S. Federal Reserve's range defining full employment, may be the push needed to increase the benchmark interest rate. Footnote 1 However, the U.S. labour force participation rate of 62.6% is the lowest since 1977 and wage growth increases have yet to be significant.

Between August 2014 and August 2015, Ontario employment grew by 63,900, all in full-time employment (+145,000) and partially mitigated by a decline in part-time work (-81,200). While the unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percentage points over 12 months, the provincial labour force was higher (+29,600) since August 2014. The participation rate (-0.4 percentage points) remained lower year-over-year.

In fact, similar to the U.S. figures, the Ontario labour force participation rate has been flirting near lows that were last seen in 1995 and 1978 before then. This continues to be a likely combination of the general weakness of the labour market and the province's aging population.

The Ontario unemployment rate for youth aged 15 to 24 decreased 0.7 percentage points to 14.1% between July and August, with the decrease reflected in both male and female figures, yet remaining higher than the national average of 13.1%

Student summer employment increased in Ontario compared to a year ago. Footnote 2 During the summer months, Statistics Canada collects labour market data on youth aged 15 to 24 who were full-time students in March and who plan to return to school full-time in the fall semester. Student employment was 14,200 higher (+2.8%) compared to August 2014. However, in 2015, both average employment and average labour force over the four month period (May–August) came in lower than in 2014 implying less opportunities were available this year. The provincial unemployment rate amongst returning students in August 2015 was 16.9%, which is 1.8 percentage points lower than the August 2014 rate and 1.9 percentage points higher than the national student rate.

Ontario monthly labour force statistics
Seasonally adjusted monthly data August 2015 July 2015 August 2014 Monthly variation Yearly variation
Number % Number %
Population 15 + ('000) 11,401.1 11,390.4 11,286.8 10.7 0.1 114.3 1.0
Labour force ('000) 7,450.1 7,424.1 7,420.5 -26.0 0.4 29.6 0.4
Employment ('000) 6,941.8 6,945.7 6,877.9 -3.9 -0.1 63.9 0.9
Full-time ('000) 5,675.6 5,642.4 5,530.6 33.2 0.6 145.0 2.6
Part-time ('000) 1,266.1 1,303.4 1,347.3 -37.3 -2.9 -81.2 -6.0
Unemployment ('000) 508.4 478.4 542.6 30.0 6.3 -34.2 -6.3
Unemployment rate (%) 6.8 6.4 7.3 0.4 - -0.5 -
Participation rate (%) 65.3 65.2 65.7 0.1 - -0.4 -
Employment rate (%) 60.9 61.0 60.9 -0.1 - 0.0 -

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey — CANSIM Table 282-0087

Ontario monthly employment and unemployment rate
Ontario monthly employment and unemployment rate. The data table for this graph is located below
Show data table Ontario monthly employment and unemployment rate
Ontario monthly employment and unemployment rate
Unemployment rate (%) Employment ('000)
Aug 2013 7.7 6,790.9
Sep 2013 7.4 6,829.5
Oct 2013 7.6 6,832.8
Nov 2013 7.6 6,829.3
Dec 2013 7.5 6,846.6
Jan 2014 7.4 6,849.9
Feb 2014 7.5 6,845.5
Mar 2014 7.4 6,856.1
Apr 2014 7.7 6,847.3
May 2014 7.4 6,841.9
Jun 2014 7.5 6,861.1
Jul 2014 7.3 6,865.1
Aug 2014 7.3 6,876.3
Sep 2014 7.2 6,878.7
Oct 2014 7.3 6,853.5
Nov 2014 7.5 6,878.3
Dec 2014 7.3 6,877.9
Jan 2015 7.3 6,880.9
Feb 2015 6.7 6,929.7
Mar 2015 7.0 6,896.7
Apr 2015 7.0 6,885
May 2015 6.9 6,886.3
Jun 2015 6.9 6,900.1
Jul 2015 6.9 6,902.1
Aug 2015 6.8 6,887.8

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey

Ontario monthly unemployment rates, by gender and age
Seasonally adjusted data August 2015
%
July 2015
%
August 2014
%
Monthly variation
(% points)
Yearly variation
(% points)
Total 6.8 6.4 7.3 0.4 -0.5
25 years and over 5.6 5.0 5.8 0.6 -0.2
Men - 25 years and over 5.8 5.1 5.9 0.7 -0.1
Women - 25 years and over 5.4 4.9 5.7 0.5 -0.3
15 to 24 years 14.1 14.8 15.8 -0.7 -1.7
Men - 15 to 24 years 15.4 16.4 17.0 -1.0 -1.6
Women - 15 to 24 years 12.8 13.1 14.6 -0.3 -1.8

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey — CANSIM Table 282-0087

Employment by industry

Goods-producing sector suffers largest employment losses in 12 months

Employment fell in the goods-producing sector by 9,100 in August 2015, the largest decline in the sector in 12 months. The losses were most severe in construction (-12,000), while manufacturing had a small drop of 700.

The provincial construction industry has experienced employment losses in four of the past six months in a volatile 2015 so far. The residential sector is starting to show signs of weakening; housing starts in July were 26.0% lower than they were 12 months ago.Footnote 3 Both residential and non-residential building permits fell sharply in May and, despite somewhat of a rebound in June, could have contributed to construction employment losses in later months. The largest news on a non-residential project in August was the ongoing progress on the Niagara Region Wind Farm construction project Footnote 4 as St. Catharines-based Rankin Construction Inc., in partnership with Enercon Canada Inc., announced production on parts for Niagara Region Wind Corp.'s wind-turbine towers. Footnote 5

The provincial manufacturing industry has also seen employment volatility, although it remained 1.4% above its level 12 months ago. Provincial manufacturing sales in Ontario reflect a similar trend, with sales showing a small gain in June, but remaining 1.9% below June 2014 levels.Footnote 6 While Ontario motor vehicle manufacturing sales recovered slightly in July, figures for Canadian light vehicle production remains weak compared to 2014.Footnote 7 The expected boost to Ontario manufacturing from the Canadian dollar depreciation has yet to materialize, although the delayed closure of the GM Canada's Oshawa plant provided some relief to the auto sector.

From August 2014 to August 2015, employment in the goods-producing sector increased by 36,900, with the largest growth coming from the forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas industry (+18,300).

Employment recovers in the services-producing sector after a loss in the previous month

Employment increased in the services-producing sector by 5,100 in August. The educational services industry had the largest employment gain (+9,900), while the trade industry employment declined (-5,600) for a third consecutive month.

The provincial retail trade industry continued to be in the news in the summer 2015, due to the ever-present competition for consumer attention. The weak Canadian dollar has led to major changes for various retailers, particularly clothing retailers, as rising importing costs impact company bottom lines. Laura's Shoppe Inc., a women's fashion retailer, will close 15 stores by September, and its Mississauga-based head office, after filing for creditor protection earlier in August.Footnote 8 Another fashion brand that has been in the news recently is Nine West, which will create a new subsidiary to buy back some of its stores from its Canadian licensee Sherson Group Inc., who owned 49 Nine West stores in Canada, with more than 500 employees.Footnote 9

From August 2014 to August 2015, employment in the services-producing sector rose by 26,900, with the largest increases coming from the finance, insurance, real estate and leasing industry (+47,200), the educational services industry (+26,000) and professional, scientific and technical services (+18,100).

Ontario monthly labour force statistics, by industry
Seasonally adjusted data ('000) August 2015 July 2015 August 2014 Monthly variation Yearly variation
Number % Number %
Total employed, all industries 6,941.8 6,945.7 6,877.9 -3.9 -0.1 63.9 0.9
Goods-producing sector 1,403.1 1,412.2 1,366.2 -9.1 -0.6 36.9 2.7
Agriculture 76.7 73.6 79.8 3.1 4.2 -3.1 -3.9
Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas 46.9 47.1 28.6 -0.2 -0.4 18.3 64.0
Utilities 51.2 50.6 49.8 0.6 1.2 1.4 2.8
Construction 480.8 492.8 470.8 -12.0 -2.4 10.0 2.1
Manufacturing 747.4 748.1 737.2 -0.7 -0.1 10.2 1.4
Services-producing sector 5,538.6 5,533.5 5,511.7 5.1 0.1 26.9 0.5
Trade 1,040.2 1,045.8 1,055.5 -5.6 -0.5 -15.3 -1.4
Transportation and warehousing 320.1 320.8 325.1 -0.7 -0.2 -5.0 -1.5
Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing 549.8 552.3 502.6 -2.5 -0.5 47.2 9.4
Professional, scientific and technical services 591.3 597.0 573.2 -5.7 -1.0 18.1 3.2
Business, building and other support services 324.8 326.6 329.1 -1.8 -0.6 -4.3 -1.3
Educational services 531.0 521.1 505.0 9.9 1.9 26.0 5.1
Health care and social assistance 809.5 805.5 806.6 4.0 0.5 2.9 0.4
Information, culture and recreation 314.4 310.3 313.0 4.1 1.3 1.4 0.4
Accommodation and food services 441.7 442.4 444.9 -0.7 -0.2 -3.2 -0.7
Other services 276.1 273.1 286.5 3.0 1.1 -10.4 -3.6
Public administration 339.6 338.5 370.3 1.1 0.3 -30.7 -8.3

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey — CANSIM Table 282-0088

Regional analysis

Toronto recorded the largest employment gain in August

The Toronto economic region continued to lead employment growth in Ontario with a gain of 139,300 (+4.3%) in employment from August 2014 to August 2015 (on a year-over-year seasonally unadjusted basis). Gains were realized entirely in full-time positions. The regional unemployment rate fell 1.6 percentage points to 7.6%, but remained above the provincial rate of 7.1%. Toronto's trade industry has performed well in the past year. Retail trade, especially, will see a number of store openings in the near future including Breitling,Footnote 10 De Beers, Footnote 11 and Torrid.Footnote 12 In addition, fashion retailers Saks Fifth Avenue,Footnote 13 Reiss, Footnote 14 and Marc Cain Footnote 15 are planning to open two new stores each in 2016. The City of Oshawa also received good news in auto manufacturing this month as General Motors announced plans to extend production until 2017. The plant was original set to close in 2016 and currently employs 900 workers. Footnote 16

Employment in the Hamilton–Niagara Peninsula economic region rose by 25,700 (+3.6%) compared to a year ago. The unemployment rate fell by 0.9 percentage points to 6.1%, and more people joined the labour force. Employment in the manufacturing industry has been strengthening over the summer and will be further supported by the announcement that up to 200 positions will be created by a new facility producing concrete parts for Niagara Region Wind Corp's wind-turbine towers.Footnote 17 In the transportation industry, Hamilton International Airport's new $12M cargo hangar will add about 400 direct and indirect jobs.Footnote 18

Between August 2014 and August 2015, employment gains were also recorded in the London economic region.

Employment fell across eight economic regions

The last time eight or more economic regions experienced employment declines was May and June of 2013, and throughout 2009 before that. The regional results, in terms of employment growth, have seen a certain degree of disparity since May 2015 with eastern and northern economic regions weaker, while Toronto and Hamilton-Niagara were much stronger. Also, since May 2015, this disparity continues to increase in magnitude with each passing month. A key question is how much of the gains in the Toronto and Hamilton-Niagara economic regions can be attributed to the Pan-Am/Para Pan-Am games.

Employment in Muskoka–Kawarthas declined by 34,600 (-17.5%) from August 2014 to August 2015, and the unemployment rate rose to 6.6% from 5.6% a year ago. Labour market conditions continued to deteriorate in the region as losses were registered in both full-time and part-time employment, and the labour force contracted.

The Kingston–Pembroke economic region recorded an employment loss of 16,500 (-7.5%), realized in both full-time and part-time work. The unemployment rate increased marginally and less people looked for work. Despite an eighth consecutive month of employment losses in manufacturing, Hanon Systems in Belleville will increase overall capacity, leading to about 70 new jobs. Footnote 19 As well, a new Frulact Canada production plant in Kingston will open in fall 2016, creating approximately 50 new jobs. Footnote 20

Employment in the Northeast economic region declined by 10,600 (-4.0%) over the past year, and the unemployment rate rose by 0.5 percentage points to 7.8%. Though employment gains were registered in the forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas industry, the Lockerby Mine in Sudbury Footnote 21 and the Côté Gold Project in Gogama Footnote 22 have shut down operations, both negatively impacted by the lower commodity prices throughout the past year.

Employment losses were also reported in the Ottawa, Stratford–Bruce Peninsula, Windsor–Sarnia, Kitchener–Waterloo–Barrie, and Northwest economic regions.

Ontario monthly labour force statistics, by economic region
3-month moving averages
seasonally unadjusted data
Employment Unemployment rate
August 2015
('000)
August 2014
('000)
Yearly variation
(%)
August 2015
('000)
August 2014
('000)
Yearly variation
(% points)
Ontario 7,045.7 6,969.7 1.1 7.1 7.9 -0.8
Economic Regions
Ottawa 694.7 708.4 -1.9 7.3 7.0 0.3
Kingston–Pembroke 202.5 219.0 -7.5 7.9 7.8 0.1
Muskoka–Kawarthas 163.1 197.7 -17.5 6.6 5.6 1.0
Toronto 3,391.7 3,252.4 4.3 7.6 9.2 -1.6
Kitchener–Waterloo–Barrie 713.1 718.7 -0.8 5.6 6.0 -0.4
Hamilton–Niagara Peninsula 741.5 715.8 3.6 6.1 7.0 -0.9
London 345.1 332.9 3.7 5.8 7.5 -1.7
Windsor–Sarnia 297.8 304.6 -2.2 8.0 8.5 -0.5
Stratford–Bruce Peninsula 144.3 155.2 -7.0 6.1 4.3 1.8
Northeast 253.0 263.6 -4.0 7.8 7.3 0.5
Northwest 98.9 101.5 -2.6 6.3 6.1 0.2

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey–CANSIM Table 282-0122

Note

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.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Business Blog. (September 4, 2015). Stock markets slide after 'mixed-bag' US jobs report. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2015/sep/04/business-live-jittery-markets-fall-us-jobs-report

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

Statistics Canada. Table 282-0006: Labour Force Survey estimates by students during summer months, seasonally unadjusted monthly data CANSIM 282-0006.

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Footnote 3

Statistics Canada. Table 027-0051, Housing Starts, by Province and CMA

Return to footnote 3 referrer

Footnote 4

Niagara Region Wind Farm. Retrieved from http://www.nrwf.ca/

Return to footnote 4 referrer

Footnote 5

Fraser, Don. (August 4, 2015). Turbine plant to create up to 200 positions. Niagara Falls Review. Retrieved from http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/2015/08/04/wind-turbine-parts-plant-to-create-up-to-200-jobs

Return to footnote 5 referrer

Footnote 6

Statistics Canada. Table 304-0015: Manufacturing Sales, by Province

Return to footnote 6 referrer

Footnote 7

Desrosiers Automotive Reports, Volume 29, Issue 16, Aug 2015

Return to footnote 7 referrer

Footnote 8

The Canadian Press. (September 2, 2015). Laura's keeping some stores open as mall landlords cut rents. Global News. Retrieved from http://globalnews.ca/news/2199821/retailer-lauras-keeping-some-stores-open-as-mall-landlords-cut-rents/

Return to footnote 8 referrer

Footnote 9

CBC News Staff (August 24, 2015). Nine West to live on in Canada as U.S. parent buys back stores. CBC News. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/nine-west-to-live-on-in-canada-as-u-s-parent-buys-back-stores-1.3202062

Return to footnote 9 referrer

Footnote 10

(2015, August 6). Luxury Shifts Eastward as Breitling Opens Bloor Street Flagship. Retail Insider. Retrieved from http://www.retail-insider.com/retail-insider/2015/8/breitling

Return to footnote 10 referrer

Footnote 11

(2015, August 11). De Beers to Open 2nd Free-Standing Canadian Location this Fall. Retail Insider. Retrieved from http://www.retail-insider.com/retail-insider/2015/7/de-beers

Return to footnote 11 referrer

Footnote 12

The Canadian Press. (2015, August 25). U.S. plus-size retailer Torrid to launch first store in Canada Sept. 1. CTV News. Retrieved from http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/u-s-plus-size-retailer-torrid-to-launch-first-store-in-canada-sept-1-1.2532159

Return to footnote 12 referrer

Footnote 13

The Canadian Press. (2015, July 30). Saks Fifth Avenue to hire 365 people for Toronto stores. CP24. Retrieved from http://www.cp24.com/news/saks-fifth-avenue-to-hire-365-people-for-toronto-stores-1.2495212

Return to footnote 13 referrer

Footnote 14

(2015, August 24). British Fashion brand REISS Plans Cross-Canada Store Expansion. Retail Insider. Retrieved from http://www.retail-insider.com/retail-insider/2015/8/reiss

Return to footnote 14 referrer

Footnote 15

(2015, August 27). German Brand Marc Cain to Enter Canada with 5 Confirmed Locations. Retail Insider. Retrieved from http://www.retail-insider.com/retail-insider/2015/8/marc-cain

Return to footnote 15 referrer

Footnote 16

Flavelle, D. (2015, August 19). Equinox demand gives GM Oshawa reprieve to 2017. The Toronto Star. Retrieved from http://www.thestar.com/business/2015/08/19/equinox-demand-gives-gm-oshawa-reprieve-to-2017.html

Return to footnote 16 referrer

Footnote 17

Fraser, D. (2015, August 19). Turbine plant to create up to 200 positions.. Niagara Falls Review. Retrieved from http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/2015/08/04/wind-turbine-parts-plant-to-create-up-to-200-jobs

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Footnote 18

Werner, K. (2015, July 30). Hamilton International Airport's $12-million facility launches economic benefits. Hamilton Community News. Retrieved from http://www.hamiltonnews.com/news-story/5768485-hamilton-international-airport-s-12-million-facility-launches-economic-benefits/

Return to footnote 18 referrer

Footnote 19

Reed, S. (2015, August 21). Funding to create 70 new jobs. Community Press. Retrieved from http://www.communitypress.ca/2015/08/21/funding-to-create-70-new-jobs

Return to footnote 19 referrer

Footnote 20

Kingston Selected As Canadian Base For Food Processor Frulact. (2015, August 21). The Kingston Economic Development Corporation. Retrieved from http://business.kingstoncanada.com/en/news/index.aspx?feedId=456f8170-ac11-452b-b316-900b99addc37&newsId=7994f4e1-8e2e-48a1-b9cf-e63bd047c810

Return to footnote 20 referrer

Footnote 21

Migneault, J. (2015, August 20). First Nickel goes into receivership. Northern Ontario Business Retrieved from http://www.northernontariobusiness.com/Industry-News/mining/2015/08/First-Nickel-goes-into-receivership.aspx

Return to footnote 21 referrer

Footnote 22

Gillis, L. (2015, August 22). IAMGOLD confirms shutdown in Gogama. Timmins Press Retrieved from http://www.timminspress.com/2015/08/22/iamgold-confirms-shutdown-in-gogama

Return to footnote 22 referrer

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