The tight labour market job shops have been experiencing is borne out by the latest labour force survey released by Statistics Canada this morning.
Employment in Canada rose by 0.3 per cent in December over the previous month with another 55,000 people coming into the workforce. Most of the employment growth was in Ontario.
Looking specifically at manufacturing, where employment had returned to its pre-Covid level by the end of 2020, employment grew 0.6 per cent in December over the previous month. Employment in motor vehicle parts manufacturing, however, fell 4.7 per cent as automotive was one of the sectors most affected by semiconductor parts shortages.
On a year over year basis, manufacturing jobs grew 1.1 per cent compared to December 2020. Manufacturing employed 1,770,400 people in December 2021, about 10,500 more people than at the same time in 2020.
During December employment increased in Ontario and Saskatchewan while declining in Newfoundland and Labrador. There was little change in all other provinces. For Ontario, the employment increase marked the seventh consecutive month of such increases. The 47,000 jobs added in the province in December brought the total gains since May to 468,000 (6.5 per cent). The increases were in full-time work and manufacturing was one of the strongest contributors to that.
It should be noted Statistics Canada conducted its Labour Force Survey during the week of December 5 to 11. Public health measures in response to Covid 19 during the reference week were largely similar to those in place in November and were among the least restrictive seen during the pandemic. The widespread emergence of the Omicron variant and the stricter public health measures that have come with it, occurred after the December reference week.