The festive period brought many seasons greetings for the Canadian labour force in December as unemployment remained at its lowest level in over 40 years. And yet again, immigrants have been instrumental in achieving this important milestone.
While the monthly national unemployment rate remained constant at 5.6 percent in December 2018, there were further significant unemployment reductions among the immigrant cohort. In total, immigrant joblessness now stands at 6.4 percent, thereby representing the lowest total since 2006. In addition, the recently released Statistics Canada report now shows that 26 percent of the total Canadian workforce is made up of immigrants.
Looking at the unemployment numbers from a provincial perspective, Newfoundland and Labrador continued its trend of reduced joblessness in recent months for a current employment rate of 11.7 percent. Staying in the wider Atlantic region, the news was less positive in Prince Edward Island where employment dropped for a current unemployment rate of 9.6 percent.
From an industry point of view, much of the positive news in December was as a result of manufacturing, where 24,000 more people were employed in the sector, with the bulk of the increase in Ontario and Alberta. Moreover, jobs in transportation and warehousing rose by 15,000, continuing the upward trend that began in early 2016.
Canada Job Market December 2018 update
New Canadian employment figures are released each month, and you’ll always find the latest data here on our Moving2Canada Jobs Report.
The data below comes from the Labour Force Survey, produced by Statistics Canada.
- To view jobs in Canada, visit our Jobs Board
- Visit our Resume Format in Canada page for help with your resume
- Practical advice for finding jobs in Canada
- For construction jobs in Canada, visit Outpost Recruitment
Immigrant unemployment at an all time low
The most recent data from Statistics Canada indicates that unemployment among immigrants in Canada is at an all time low. In addition, the employment gap between newcomers and Canadian-born workers has also narrowed further as the data points to the fact that immigrants now make up approximately 26 percent of the entire Canadian labour force.
Moreover, between 2016 and 2017, the majority (66 percent) of national employment growth was because of immigrants aged 25-54 and Canadian-born workers aged 55 and older. The reasons for this are multifaceted but the fact that immigrants to Canada are also more likely to be university educated than Canadian-born citizens is definitely an important factor.
Immigrants who have been in Canada less than five years, more than five years, and those resident in the country ten years or more all had the same or reduced year-on-year unemployment levels in December. The most notable reduction coming from those in Canada more than ten years who had a 0.6 percentage points reduction from December 2017.
From a continent-specific point of view, December saw unemployment fall among four of the five immigrant groups. African immigrants continued their downward unemployment trend of late with a month on month reduction of 0.3 percentage points for a new total of 7.6 percent.
Notice: Immigrant unemployment rates are not available in seasonally adjusted statistics.
Click to view table: Unemployment among immigrants
|Landed Immigrant Population (Permanent Status) unemployment rate (percentage)||Dec 2017||Nov 2018||Dec 2018||Change M-O-M||Change Y-O-Y|
|Immigrants, landed 5 or less years earlier||9.1||9.5||8.9||-0.6||-0.2|
|Immigrants, landed more than 5 to 10 years earlier||6.6||6.2||6.6||0.4||0|
|Immigrants, landed more than 10 years earlier||5.5||5.1||4.9||-0.2||-0.6|
Employment up by over 160,000 in 2018
In 2018, employment increased by 163,000 or 0.9%, while unemployment fell to the forty year low of 5.6 percent for the final two months of the year. Full-time employment continued on an upward trend in 2018, growing by 185,000 or 1.2%, while part-time employment was little changed
2018 saw employment among men and women aged 55 and over rise by 50,000 in 2018, with most of the increase among men, whose unemployment rate fell 0.8 percentage points to 5.3 percent over the period. For women in this age group, employment was little changed, as was their unemployment rate of 4.6 percent.
Finally, in 2018, the number of people employed in the private sector increased by 101,000, while public sector employment was little changed and self-employment edged up slightly.