Employment in Ontario grew again in March, bringing the cumulative job gains since September to 172,000. PHOTO by Pexels.
Employment rose in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and Prince Edward Island in March, while it declined in Saskatchewan. There was little change in the other provinces.
Following little change in February, employment growth resumed in Ontario in March (+21,000; +0.3%), bringing cumulative gains since September 2022 to 172,000 (+2.2%). The unemployment rate held steady at 5.1%. The Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA) saw employment increase by 23,000 (+0.6%) in March, and the unemployment rate edged up 0.2 percentage points to 5.8% as more people searched for work.
“For the sixth straight month, we have seen jobs increase in Ontario along with new investments from global and domestic companies. Since 2018, more than 600,000 good-paying jobs have been added to the province and we continue to lead the nation in job creation,” said Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
Fedeli pointed out that over the last two and a half years, Ontario has attracted over $17 billion in auto investments and, just last month, Volkswagen, Europe’s largest automaker, announced plans to build its first overseas electric vehicle (EV) battery cell manufacturing facility in St. Thomas. VueReal, a made-in-Ontario start-up, also recently announced a $40 million manufacturing investment to expand their operations.
Employment in Manitoba increased by 3,300 (+0.5%) in March, the second consecutive monthly gain, while the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.7%. In the Winnipeg CMA, employment rose by 2,400 (+0.5%) and the unemployment rate was 4.6% (three-month moving averages).
In Alberta, employment rose by 14,000 (+0.6%) in March, the third increase in four months, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.7%. In the 12 months to March 2023, employment in the province increased by 95,000 (+4.0%), driven by gains in full-time work. Employment fell in natural resources (-14,000; -9.7%) over the 12 months, but increased in professional, scientific and technical services (+51,000; +24.9%) and in transportation and warehousing (+34,000; +29.3%).
In Prince Edward Island, employment grew by 2.0% (+1,700) in March, the third increase in four months. The unemployment rate for the province was 6.6% and the employment rate was 61.2%.
In Saskatchewan, employment fell by 4,300 (-0.7%) in March, the first notable decline since July 2022. Part-time employment declined, while full-time employment was unchanged in the month. The unemployment rate rose to 4.7% (+0.4 percentage points) in March.
Employment in Quebec was little changed in March, and the unemployment rate was 4.2%, just above the record low of 3.9% reached in January 2023 and November 2022. In the CMA of Montréal, employment held steady in March 2023, and the unemployment rate was 4.8%. The unemployment rate in the CMA of Québec was 1.7% in March and remained the lowest of all CMAs in Canada (three-month moving averages).