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Canada pumped out around 27,000 net new jobs in May, but hidden in that figure is a shift to more part-time work (+62,000 jobs) and a loss of more than 35,000 full-time positions.

Key Takeaways for Anyone Considering Moving To Canada

  • While 27,000 net new jobs were added in May, there has been a substantial shift to part-time work, with a drop of 35,000 full-time jobs.
  • Unemployment rates reached 6.2%, a full point higher than this time last year.
  • The average hourly wage increased 5.1% to $36.63.
  • Job growth was driven by part-time employment.
  • The accommodation and food services sector, healthcare and social, finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, and business, building and other support services sectors all experienced gains in May.
  • Construction, transportation and warehousing, and utilities all saw job losses last month

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

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

Though more jobs were added to the economy, Canada’s working age population grew at a pace faster than employers were adding jobs. This meant Canada’s unemployment rate crept up to 6.2%, nearly a full point higher than this time last year.

The May jobs figures, released in Statistics Canada’s monthly , came the same week as the Bank of Canada delivered its first interest rate cut of the cycle. Canada’s central bank reduced its rate 25 basis points to 4.75 per cent on June 5, its first cut in the most aggressive rate hiking cycle in recent memory.

Would further rate cuts help more businesses hire?

In the notes for its podcast last week, experts at Scotiabank outlined that the interest rate cut was “welcome relief for variable-mortgage holders, businesses and others feeling the pinch of higher interest rates.”

Other things being equal, lower borrowing costs could help businesses to attract or retain workers.

But, other things are not equal. The Bank of Canada weighs up inflation as a key input to deciding what changes, if any, may be made to interest rates, but other considerations include Canadian dollar exchange rates on international markets and unemployment.

“We’ve come a long way in the fight against inflation,” said Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem during a press conference. “And our confidence that inflation will continue to move closer to the 2% target has increased over recent months.”

Inflation is currently running at 2.7%, within the 1-to-3 percent target range.

The governor added that “it is reasonable to expect further cuts” but warned that lowering the policy interest rate too quickly “could jeopardize the progress we’ve made [in combating inflation].”

What this means for jobs in Canada generally, and jobs for immigrants in particular, remains to be seen. But, there is a strong sense that the post-pandemic era of rate hikes is behind us and that a relatively soft landing is in store.

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Canadian Wages Are Beating Inflation

The ‘i’ word — inflation — has been on many people’s lips for some time, providing plenty of discussion around the dinner table and no shortage of fodder for political and economic analysts (and politicians themselves).

Around the summer of 2022, Canada’s inflation rate reached as high as 8%.

But as inflation fell thereafter, Canadian wages began to outpace inflation. As by Canada’s Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, last week, inflation has fallen to its lowest level in three years and wage growth has now outpaced inflation for 15 months in a row.

Despite Canada’s broader productivity challenges, the fact that wage growth is beating inflation over an extended period is welcome for workers and families, particularly new immigrants who generally take a few years to earn as much as their Canadian peers.

Average hourly wages in Canada increased 5.1% (+$1.69 to $34.94) on a year-over-year basis in May, following growth of 4.7% in April.

May 2024 Job Changes in Canada

As for shifts in employment across Canada last month, employment increased in Ontario (+50,000; +0.6%), Manitoba (+7,800; +1.1%), and Saskatchewan (+5,400 +0.9%), while there were declines in Alberta (-20,000; -0.8%), Newfoundland and Labrador (-2,100; -0.9%) and Prince Edward Island (-1,100; -1.2%). There was little change in other provinces.

Total hours worked were up 1.6% compared with 12 months earlier, but unchanged in May — a nod to the slight shift to more part-time work last month.

Some sectors enjoyed job increases last month, notably:

  • health care and social assistance
  • finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing
  • business, building and other support services
  • accommodation and food services

But, construction, transportation and warehousing, and utilities all saw job losses last month.

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 鶹ӳý founder, analyzes what’s happening in the construction sector in Canada.

“”Canada is working hard to address shortfalls in construction talent so they can solve the nation-wide housing shortage. Recent initiatives include STEM-focused Express Entry draws for construction professionals with engineering backgrounds. Canada’s aggressive home building plan will undoubtedly rely on quality global construction talent”

Canada's job market: Ruairi Spillane, founder of Outpost Recruitment
鶹ӳý 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 .

How to take advantage in Canada’s job market

The 鶹ӳý 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.

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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 鶹ӳý 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 鶹ӳý profile to hear about job opportunities in your industry in Canada!

Want to dig deeper into the Canada Jobs Report data? .

About the author

Ruairi Spillane profile picture

Ruairi Spillane

He/Him
Founder & CEO - Finance & Recruitment Specialist
As the founder and CEO of 鶹ӳý, Ruairi has been advising newcomers on how to immigrate, settle, and succeed in their new lives in Canada since 2011. He is a frequent contributor to discussions on Canadian immigration and has earned several recognitions for his expertise in the immigration space.
Read more about Ruairi Spillane
Citation "Labour Market Update: Unemployment Rises to 6.2%. So, Are More Rate Cuts in Store Amid a Cooling Jobs Market?." 鶹ӳý. . Copy for Citation