Labour market report, April 2023
Employment in Ontario increased by 32,700 in April. Get the details in this report.
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In April 2023:
- There were 12.7 million people in Ontario aged 15 years or older
- 8.3 million (65.5%) were in the labour force. The labour force increased by 18,900 (0.2%) in April compared to March.
- 7.9 million (62.3%) were employed, up by 32,700 (0.4%) from March.
- Ontario's unemployment rate decreased to 4.9% in April from 5.2% in March and 410,100 people were unemployed, down 13,700 (−3.2%) from March.
This report is based on the Labour Force Survey (LFS), a household survey carried out by Statistics Canada. April’s LFS results cover labour market conditions during the week of April 9 to 15.
Employment increased in April
Employment in Ontario increased in April by 32,700 (0.4%) to 7,919,400, after increasing by 21,400 (0.3%) in March. Provincial employment has been steadily increasing in recent months, with job gains totalling 204,500 since September 2022.
Employment in Canada increased in April by 41,400 (0.2%), after increasing by 34,700 (0.2%) in March. A total of 20,130,200 people were employed in Canada in April.
Chart 1 shows employment in Ontario from January 2005 to April 2023.
Full-time vs. part-time
Part-time employment accounted for all of April’s job gains, increasing by 37,600 (2.8%) positions. Full-time employment decreased by 4,800 (−0.1%) in April.
Employment change by sex and age
Employment was little changed for women in April (−1,500 or 0.0%) after increasing by 2,200 (0.1%) in March. Total female employment was 3,742,600 in April. Employment increased by 34,300 (0.8%) for men, after increasing by 19,200 (0.5%) in March. Total male employment was 4,176,900 in April.
Youth (aged 15 to 24) employment increased by 12,300 (1.2%) to 1,077,400 in April, after decreasing by 9,100 (−0.9%) in March. Employment for people aged 25 to 54 rose by 11,000 (0.2%) to 5,106,500, after rising by 6,800 (0.1%) in March. Employment for those aged 55 and older increased by 9,400 (0.5%) to 1,735,500 in April, after being little increasing by 23,800 (1.4%) in March.
Employment change by industry
Ontario’s largest industry groups by employment in April included wholesale and retail trade (1,139,400 or 14.4% of total employment), health care and social assistance (974,100 or 12.3%), professional, scientific and technical services (813,900 or 10.3%), manufacturing (792,500 or 10.0%) and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (692,200 or 8.7%).
Eight of the sixteen major industry groups recorded job gains in April. Transportation and warehousing (19,500 or 5.0%), wholesale and retail trade (12,100 or 1.1%), information, culture and recreation (9,600 or 3.0%) and construction (6,400 or 1.1%) led job gains.
Employment declined in six of the sixteen major industry groups in April. There were notable employment losses in accommodation and food services (−11,500 or −2.7%), other services (except public administration) (−11,200 or −4.2%) and agriculture (−5,200 or −6.5%).
Employment was little changed in public administration (700 or 0.2%) and professional, scientific and technical services (−600 or −0.1%) in April.
Chart 2 shows industries by employment change in Ontario, March 2023 to April 2023.
Employment change by occupation
Ontario’s largest occupational groups by employment in April included sales and service (1,764,800 or 21.3% of total employment), business, finance and administration (1,384,900 or 16.7%), trades, transport and equipment operators (1,182,600 or 14.3%), occupations in education, law and social, community and government services (907,600 or 11.0%) and management (840,900 or 10.2%).
Eight of the ten major occupational groups in Ontario had net employment gains in the first four months of 2023 when compared to the same period in 2022. Management occupations (72,900 or 9.9%), trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations (70,300 or 6.7%) and occupations in education, law and social, community and government services (36,700 or 4.2%) led job gains.
Employment losses were recorded for occupations in manufacturing and utilities (−22,800 or −5.9%), natural resources, agriculture and related production (−4,600 or −6.2%) and sales and service (−3,000 or −0.2%).
Chart 3 shows occupations by employment change in Ontario, April 2022 (year-to-date) to April 2023 (year-to-date).
Employment change in urban centres
In April 2023, employment in eleven of the sixteen Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) was at or above its April 2022 level, led by Toronto (78,500 or 2.2%) and followed by Ottawa-Gatineau (14,900 or 1.9%) and Barrie (14,700 or 12.3%).
Employment losses were recorded in four CMAs in April, led by St. Catharines-Niagara (−9,200 or −4.0%) and Peterborough (−3,600 or −5.3%).
Employment was little changed in London (−900 or −0.3%) in April.
Chart 4 shows employment change for Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) from April 2022 to April 2023.
Unemployment rate decreased to 4.9%
Ontario’s unemployment rate was 4.9% in April, down from 5.1% in March. April’s rate was the lowest recorded rate since October 1989 (4.7%).
April 2023 was the first time since May 2020 that Ontario’s unemployment rate was below the Canadian rate, which held steady at 5.0% for the fifth consecutive month. The national unemployment rate was below the rate recorded in April 2022 (5.3%) and remained slightly above the record low of 4.9% reached in June and July 2022.
Chart 5 shows unemployment rates, Ontario and Canada, January 2005 to April 2023.
Unemployment rate by sex, age, visible minority status and Indigenous group
The unemployment rate for women was 4.8% in April, down from 5.0% in March. The rate for men was 5.0% in April, down from 5.2% in March.
For youth aged 15 to 24, the unemployment rate rose to 10.4% in April from 9.8% in March. The unemployment rate for individuals aged 25 to 54 decreased to 4.2% in April from 4.5% in March. The unemployment rate for those aged 55 and older decreased to 3.3%, down from 3.9% in March.
In Ontario, the unemployment rate among population groups designated as visible minorities was estimated at 5.8% in April compared to a 4.8% rate for those who are not visible minorities and did not identify as Indigenous (data are three-month moving averages for the population aged 15 years and over and are not adjusted for seasonality).
The unemployment rate for Ontario’s Indigenous population was estimated at 8.3% in April compared to a 5.1% rate for the non-Indigenous population. The unemployment rate for the Indigenous population includes the rate for First Nations people living off reserve (10.1%) and individuals who identify as Métis (5.7%) (data are three-month moving averages for the population aged 15 years and over and are not adjusted for seasonality).
Unemployment rate by urban centre
In April, the average unemployment rate decreased from March in eight of the sixteen Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs). The largest decreases were seen in Belleville (5.1% in March to 4.1% in April) and Guelph (3.8% to 3.3%).
The average unemployment rate was unchanged in three CMAs in April: Peterborough (5.3%), Oshawa (4.6%) and Greater Sudbury (4.0%).
Five CMAs had average unemployment rates that increased in April, led by Windsor (5.7% in March to 6.7% in April) and St. Catharines-Niagara (4.0% to 4.4%).
Chart 6 shows the average unemployment rate for Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) in April 2023.
In April, an estimated 85,400 Ontarians or 20.8% of all unemployed people were unemployed for 27 weeks or longer (long-term unemployed). This compared to 77,900 Ontarians or 18.4% of all unemployed people in March and 90,500 or 20.4% of all unemployed people a year earlier in April 2022. The long-term unemployed share in April was the highest seen in Ontario since March 2022 (21.9%).
The average time in unemployment was 17.6 weeks in April, below the average in March (18.8 weeks) and well below the average in April 2022 (21.4 weeks).
Chart 7 shows Ontario’s long-term unemployment (27 weeks or more) as a percentage of total unemployment, January 2005 to April 2023.
Average hourly wages by sex, age and industry
Average hourly wage rates are reported without adjusting for the rate of inflation.
The average hourly wage rate in Ontario for employees was $34.46 in April, above the average rate across Canada ($33.38). Ontario’s average hourly wage rate in April rose by 5.5% on a year-over-year basis (by $1.81 from $32.65 in April 2022), below the 6.0% increase from March. This was the second consecutive month where average hourly wage growth was above 5.0% on a year-over-year basis.
April’s wage growth (5.5%) was above the growth seen in the Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI) as of March (4.3%). The CPI is a measure of inflation that represents changes in prices for goods and services as experienced by consumers.
Chart 8 shows the year-over-year percentage change in Ontario’s average hourly wage rate and the Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI), January 2015 to April 2023.
The average hourly wage rate was $32.09 for women in April, rising by 6.3% ($1.90) from $30.19 in April 2022. For men, the average hourly wage rate was $36.76, an increase of 4.8% ($1.69) from $35.07 a year earlier.
For youth aged 15 to 24, the average hourly wage rate was $20.04 in April, an increase of 6.5% ($1.22) from $18.82 in April 2022. The average hourly wage rate for individuals aged 25 to 54 rose to $37.22 in April, up 5.9% ($2.06) from $35.16 a year earlier. The average hourly wage rate for those aged 55 and older increased by 5.0% ($1.70) to $35.88 in April from $34.18 a year earlier.
In April, the industries with the largest increases in average hourly wage rates compared to a year earlier were:
- Agriculture: +35.3% ($7.48) to $28.64
- Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas: +12.2% ($4.82) to $44.20
- Manufacturing: +9.1% ($2.77) to $33.07
Only one industry experienced a decrease in its average hourly wage rate in April compared to a year earlier:
- Information, culture and recreation: −0.6% (-$0.18) to $32.15
Changes in average hourly wages by industry are the result of multiple factors, including wage growth and shifts in the composition of employment by job tenure and occupation.
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey
April 2023 Labour Market Report:
- CSV, Chart 1, employment in Ontario from January 2005 to April 2023, 1KB
- CSV, Chart 2, industries with highest and lowest employment change in Ontario, March 2023 to April 2023, 2KB
- CSV, Chart 3, employment change for occupations in Ontario from April 2022 (year-to-date) to April 2023 (year-to-date), 2KB
- CSV, Chart 4, employment change for Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) from April 2022 to April 2023, 2KB
- CSV, Chart 5, unemployment rates, Ontario and Canada, January 2005 to April 2023, 2KB
- CSV, Chart 6, average unemployment rates for Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs), April 2023, 1KB
- CSV, Chart 7, Ontario’s long-term unemployed (27 weeks or more) as a percentage of total unemployment, January 2005 to April 2023, 2KB
- CSV, Chart 8, year-over-year percentage change in Ontario’s average hourly wage rate and the Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI), January 2015 to April 2023, 2KB