Ontario Labour Market Statistics for February 2016

Employment decreased in February

Ontario employment, January 2011 to February 2016. Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey (seasonally adjusted data).

Ontario's employment declined by 11,200 net jobs in February, following a 19,800 increase in January. The drop in full-time jobs (-48,900) more than offset a 37,700 increase in part-time positions.

For Canada overall, employment was virtually unchanged (-2,300), following a slight decline in January (-5,700).

In Ontario, employment for youth (ages 15-24) declined in February (-18,900), recording the largest drop since November 2014. Prime working-age workers (ages 25-54) also recorded employment losses (-9,200), while those aged 55 and over recorded job gains (+16,900).

Ontario has recovered all of the jobs lost during the recession and employment is now 4.9% or 324,600 above the pre-recession peak.

Unemployment rate edged up to 6.8%

Unemployment rates in Ontario and Canada from January 2011 to February 2016. Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey (seasonally adjusted data).

Ontario's unemployment rate edged up to 6.8% in February from 6.7% in January. Despite the increase, the unemployment rate has remained below 7.0% for more than a year (since January 2015). Canada's unemployment rate also rose in February (7.3%).

The unemployment rate for youth was 14.3% in February, up from 13.5% in January. The unemployment rate in January was the lowest rate recorded for youth since September 2008.

The unemployment rate for youth is more volatile on a month-to-month basis than the rate for the overall labour force 15 years and older. For example, in the recent past the rate for youth has been as high as 16.4% in September 2014 and as low as 13.5% in January 2016. The unemployment rate deccreased for those aged 55 and over (from 5.5% 4.9% and was unchanged for prime working-age workers aged 25 to 54, at 5.7%

Guelph had lowest unemployment rate in Canada – St. Catharines-Niagara had the second highest rate

Census Metropolitan Areas with the top and bottom unemployment rates in Canada, February 2016. Source: Statistics Canada, LFS (seasonally adjusted, 3-month moving average data).

Guelph (3.9%) had the lowest unemployment rate in Canada, while St. Catharines-Niagara had the second highest rate (8.5%). Windsor (7.7%) was the only other Ontario Census Metropolitan Area that had an unemployment rate above Canada's.

Brantford (5.8%) had the second lowest unemployment rate in Ontario and the fourth lowest rate in Canada.

Estimates are 3 month moving averages to reduce volatility caused by small sample size.

Year-over-year comparisons

Employment change in Ontario by highest level of educational attainment, for ages 25+, change between January 2015 and February 2016. Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey (unadjusted data).

Over the first two months of 2016, employment increased by 117,100 for adults 25 years and over compared to the first two months of 2015.

Almost all of the net job gains were concentrated among those with a university degree (+202,900). Those with a postsecondary education (PSE) certificate or diploma (-24,800) experienced job losses.

The unemployment rate for adults 25 years and over with PSE credentials was 5.2% over the first two months of 2016, up from 4.8% a year earlier. In comparison, the unemployment rate for adults without PSE was 10.0%, up from 7.7% over the first two months of 2015.

Occupational employment gains

Employment growth in Ontario by occupation between January 2015 and February 2016. Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey (unadjusted data).

Seven of the ten major occupational groups in Ontario recorded employment growth over the first two months of 2016 compared to the first two months of 2015.

The largest job gains were in Natural and Applied Sciences and Related (+42,000) and Social Science, Education, Government and Legal (+27,400) Occupations.

Over the same period, there were declines in Sales and Services (-15,700), Trades, Transportation and Equipment Operators (-15,700) and Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport (-14,000) Occupations

Long-term unemployment high but falling

Long term unemployment (27 weeks or more) as a share of total unemployment from January 2008 to February 2016. Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey (unadjusted data).

Over the first two months of 2016, an average of 99,500 people faced long-term unemployment (27 weeks or more), down from 100,400 in the first two months of 2015 but well above the pre-recessionary level of 55,100 over the first two months of 2008.

The share of long-term unemployed was virtually unchanged over the first two months of 2016 compared to the first two months of 2015 (19.7% vs. 19.8%, respectively). The share is still relatively elevated compared to the first two months of 2008 when 12.5% of all unemployed people faced long-term unemployment.

The average duration of unemployment declined slightly, from 19.6 weeks over the first two months of 2015 to 18.9 weeks over the first two months of 2016, but also remains above pre-recessionary levels.

Note: The monthly estimates for education, occupations and long-term unemployment are unadjusted and volatile on a month-to-month basis.

For detailed labour market data tables, please contact ResearchStrategy@ontario.ca

OntarioCanada