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Canada's unemployment rate held steady at 6.1% in April, marking the end of a six month increase in the unemployment rate. Meanwhile, employment increased by 90,000 jobs in April, far exceeding the expectations of analysts.

Key Takeaways for Anyone Considering Moving To Canada

  • While the addition of 90,000 jobs appears to be positive for jobseekers, these gains aligned with the increasing population in Canada. Finding a job in Canada is still relatively more challenging than it has been in recent years
  • Unemployment rates are higher for youths and racialized groups.
  • The average hourly wage increased modestly from March, now $34.95. This equates to an annual increase of 4.7%.
  • Job growth was driven by private sector employment, especially part time employment.
  • The accommodation and food services sector, healthcare and social, and professional, scientific and technical services sectors all experienced gains in April.

Check your eligibility for more than 20 different Canadian immigration programs by taking Moving2Canada’s free Canada Immigration Quiz.


Digging Deeper: What We Know About Canada’s Labour Market Conditions

Positive Findings in the April Labour Market Report

  • Ontario, BC, Quebec and New Brunswick all saw an increase in employment.
  • The total number of hours worked increase in April, up 1.2% year-over-year. This is an indicator of increasing economic health, since a higher number of total hours often indicates that more people are employed or working longer hours, suggesting economic growth and strength.
  • Employment rates among core-aged non-racialized men and women are similar to the rates from the same period in 2023.
  • Young male workers experienced the first increase in employment since 2022. However, unemployment rates remain high for young workers, compared to the same period in 2023.

Challenges Presented in the April Labour Market Report

  • Canada’s labour market report for April highlighted that more than one in four workers had to come into work or connect to a work device at short notice at least several times each month. Self-employed workers were not immune from this trend either. This highlights that Canadian workers may be struggling with work-life balance.
  • The unemployment rate for core-aged Black Canadians increased by 4.4 percentage points to 11.2% in April, while it is 6.8% (up 2.1 percentage points) for core-aged South Asians and 7.5% for core-aged Chinese Canadians (up 1.3 percentage points). For context, the unemployment rate increased by 0.3 percentage points to 4.2% for non-racialized core-aged people in the same period.

Finally, a note regarding the interest rate. Given that the jobs market outperformed expectations, economists are now widely considering it to be a coin toss (50/50 odds) whether the Bank of Canada will decrease the interest rate in June. Given the uncertainty about interest rates and speculation that the labour market will remain sluggish even after rates are cut — at least for a few months, Canada’s job market is likely to continue seeing unpredictability (and the associated challenges) in the coming months.

In other words, it’s possible that unemployment will remain above 6% in the near term. But, impending changes in terms of interest rates and immigration policy may result in lower unemployment later this year.

The Labour Force Survey  reported on here captures Canada’s labour market conditions for the week of April 14 to 20, 2024.


Expert resources to help immigrants get jobs in Canada

Canada’s job market provides a wealth of opportunity for newcomers, but it is only that — an opportunity.

To take full advantage, recent and prospective immigrants can leverage free government-funded resources and programs. We recently partnered with Canada InfoNet, a government-funded pre-arrival employment support program, to bring you two expert guides on transitioning to a career in Canada:

The outlook on Canadian construction and infrastructure

Ruairi Spillaine, Outpost Recruitment and Moving2Canada founder, analyzes what’s happening in the construction sector in Canada.

“Rising interest rates along with cost escalations are strongly impacting commercial and residential construction projects. The finanical challenges facing the residential sector come despite an acute need for additional homes from coast to coast. Public funded projects continue to move forward with budget restrictions, with increased investment across education, healthcare, transportation and energy.

Canada's job market: Ruairi Spillane, founder of Outpost Recruitment
Moving2Canada and Outpost Recruitment Founder, Ruairi Spillane

If you are interested in working in Canada’s construction sector, Outpost helps motivated candidates find suitable jobs in Canada.

The agency works with general contractors, subcontractors, developers, and consultants who are hiring across senior management, operations, project management, site, design, quality, and commercial personnel.

Outpost Recruitment is actively looking for candidates for projects across Canada. View the latest job postings here.

How to take advantage in Canada’s job market

The Moving2Canada team has a special feature for people who want to get a job in Canada or accelerate their career here. Readers can now opt in to hear from recruiters and employers we partner with and upload a resume to their account, all for free.

We’re excited to help more newcomers and people wishing to move to Canada in their career goals.


How to get a job in Canada

If you’re looking for a job in Canada here are some steps you can take to land that sweet, sweet Canadian job offer.

Here’s a popular webinar from recruitment expert and Moving2Canada founder, Ruairi Spillane, about how to create the best resume for the Canadian jobs market:

New and improved Jobs Board

We have worked hard over recent weeks to ramp up the number and range of job postings on our Jobs Board.

We also have a number of other resources for helping you find your career in Canada. You’ll find broad-stroke information that will arm you with the knowledge you need to succeed, as well as industry-specific insights into finding jobs by industry, such as teaching.

Don’t forget to complete or update your Moving2Canada profile to hear about job opportunities in your industry in Canada!

Want to dig deeper into the Canada Jobs Report data? Try these interactive tools, courtesy of StatsCan.

About the author

Stephanie Ford profile picture

Stephanie Ford

Finance, Law and Immigration Writer
Stephanie is a content marketer who has written for law firms (with a focus on immigration and privacy), legal tech companies, and finance professionals for more than 9 years. She earned a Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning in Australia. Stephanie is now a permanent resident of Canada and a full-time writer at Moving2Canada.
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Citation "Labour Market Update: Canada’s Job Market Exceeds Expectations in April 2024." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation