Canada’s Labour Market Softens as Job Vacancies Decline in June

In June, there was a notable increase of 47,700 in payroll employees— those receiving pay and benefits from employers— according to data from Statistics Canada. However, the month also marked a decline in job vacancies by (1.2%), settling at 753,400.

Diving deeper into sectors, the health care and social assistance sector stood out with the largest rise in payroll employment, adding 25,100 employees and marking a 1.1% jump. Other sectors witnessing hikes were construction, manufacturing, utilities, and professional services, with respective additions of 4,000, 3,500, 1,300, and 1,200 employees.

In contrast, sectors like administrative and support, waste management, information, retail trade, and certain other services experienced drops in payroll employment, with the sharpest dip of 6,800 in administrative and support. Comparing recent growth data, payroll employment saw a cumulative rise of 168,300 from February to June. This growth was subdued compared to the 279,700 hike from September 2022 to January 2023.

When observing earnings, June’s average weekly earnings barely moved, standing at $1,204— a mere $4 increase from May. Interestingly, sectors like arts, entertainment, and recreation saw a notable 6.0% boost in earnings, followed by manufacturing and accommodation and food services with 1.9% and 1.7% respectively.

Yearly data revealed that average weekly earnings had risen by 3.6% in June. This growth can be attributed to varied factors like wage alterations, employment composition shifts, and variations in working hours. Speaking of hours, June witnessed a 0.6% decrease in average weekly hours year-over-year, slumping to 33.2 hours.

A concerning trend is the consistent decline in job vacancies since January, with a net reduction of 108,500 and a whopping 24.9% drop since May 2022’s record of 1,003,200 vacancies. June 2023’s job vacancies stooped to their lowest since May 2021. Additionally, the Labour Force Survey highlighted an unsettling 54,100 increase in unemployed individuals in June.

Consequently, for every job vacancy, there were 1.5 unemployed persons, a slight uptick from April and May’s 1.4, signaling a relaxing labor market. However, this unemployment-to-job vacancy ratio was still better than the pre-COVID-19 numbers, which often surpassed 2.0.

Information for this story was found via Statistics Canada. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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