Labour market report, December 2022
Employment in Ontario increased by 42,100 in December. Get the details in this report.
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In December 2022:
- There were 12.6 million people in Ontario aged 15 years or older
- 8.2 million (64.9%) were in the labour force. The labour force increased by 21,700 (0.3%) in December compared to November.
- 7.7 million (61.4%) were employed, up by 42,100 (0.5%) from November.
- Ontario's unemployment rate decreased to 5.3% in December from 5.5% in November and 431,800 people were unemployed, down 20,300 (-4.5%) from November.
This report is based on the Labour Force Survey (LFS), a household survey carried out by Statistics Canada. December’s LFS results cover labour market conditions during the week of December 4 to 10.
Employment increased in December
Employment in Ontario increased in December by 42,100 (0.5%) to 7,743,700, after increasing by 22,600 (0.3%) in November. This was the third consecutive month with an increase in provincial employment following fourth consecutive months with a decline.
Employment in Canada increased in December by 104,000 (0.5%), after being little changed in November (10,100 or 0.1%). A total of 19,770,300 people were employed in Canada in December.
Chart 1 shows employment in Ontario from January 2005 to December 2022.
On an annual basis, employment in Ontario increased by 316,600 (4.3%) in 2022, following an increase of 344,800 (4.9%) in 2021 and a decrease of 355,300 (-4.8%) in 2020.
Full-time vs. part-time
Full-time employment accounted for virtually all of December’s job gains, increasing by 41,900 (0.7%) positions, while part-time employment was little changed (300 or 0.0%).
Employment change by sex and age
Employment increased by 35,700 (1.0%) to 3,663,200 for women in December after increasing by 6,800 (0.2%) in November. Employment increased by 6,400 (0.2%) for men, after increasing by 15,700 (0.4%) in November. Total male employment was 4,080,500 in December.
Youth (aged 15 to 24) employment increased by 29,500 (2.9%) to 1,037,300 in December, after decreasing by 7,600 (-0.7%) in November. Employment for people aged 25 to 54 fell by 2,900 (-0.1%) to 5,025,100, after rising by 27,600 (0.6%) in November. Employment for those aged 55 and older increased by 15,600 (0.9%) to 1,681,300, following an increase of 2,400 (0.1%) in November.
Employment change by industry
Ontario’s largest industry groups by employment in December included wholesale and retail trade (1,082,700 or 14.0% of total employment), health care and social assistance (924,200 or 11.9%), professional, scientific and technical services (812,600 or 10.5%), manufacturing (768,600 or 9.9%) and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (675,900 or 8.7%).
Eight of the sixteen major industry groups recorded job gains in December. Professional, scientific and technical services (22,200 or 2.8%), construction (15,600 or 2.7 %), information, culture and recreation (12,900 or 4.2%) and accommodation and food services (10,700 or 2.6%) led job gains.
Employment losses were notable in educational services (-17,100 or -2.9%), health care and social assistance (-11,100 or -1.2%), manufacturing (-6,900 or -0.9%) and forestry (-1,100 or -2.5%) in December.
Employment was little changed in utilities (-700 or 1.0%), public administration (-600 or 0.1%), wholesale and retail trade (300 or 0.0%) and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (-300 or 0.0%) in December.
Chart 2 shows industries by employment change in Ontario, November 2022 to December 2022.
Employment change by occupation
Ontario’s largest occupational groups by employment in December included sales and service (1,623,100 or 20.9% of total employment), business, finance and administration (1,348,100 or 17.4%), trades, transport and equipment operators (1,003,500 or 13.0%), occupations in education, law and social, community and government services (935,100 or 12.1%) and management (812,200 or 10.5%).
Nine of the ten major occupational groups in Ontario had net gains in annual employment between 2021 and 2022. Management (95,500 or 13.8%), natural and applied sciences (59,100 or 8.1%) and sales and service (59,000 or 3.7%) led job gains.
Annual employment losses were recorded in art, culture, recreation and sport (-8,300 or -3.7%).
Chart 3 shows occupations by employment change in Ontario, December 2021 (year-to-date) to December 2022 (year-to-date).
Employment change in urban centres
In December 2022, employment in twelve of the sixteen Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) was at or above its December 2021 level, led by Ottawa-Gatineau (45,400 or 6.0%) and followed by St. Catharines - Niagara (12,400 or 6.0%), Barrie (10,200 or 8.7%), Kingston (8,300 or 10.1%) and Brantford (6,000 or 8.2%).
Employment losses were recorded in four CMAs, led by Toronto (-18,200 or -0.5%).
Chart 4 shows employment change for Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) from December 2021 to December 2022.
Unemployment rate decreased to 5.3%
Ontario’s unemployment rate was 5.3% in December, down from 5.5% in November. This was the second consecutive month with a decline in the provincial unemployment rate, which followed fourth consecutive months with a rate increase from its recent low in June (5.1%). December’s unemployment rate was below the rate from December 2021 (6.1%).
Canada’s unemployment rate was 5.0% in December, down from 5.1% in November and below the rate from a year ago (6.0%). The national unemployment rate was slightly above the record low of 4.9% reached in June and July.
Chart 5 shows unemployment rates, Ontario and Canada, January 2005 to December 2022.
Ontario’s annual unemployment rate was 5.6% in 2022, down from 8.0% in 2021 and matching 2019 as the lowest rate since 1989 when it was 5.0%.
Unemployment rate by sex, age, visible minority status and Indigenous group
The unemployment rate for women decreased to 5.4% in December from 5.9% in November. The rate for men remained stable at 5.2% in December.
For individuals aged 15 to 24, the unemployment rate fell to 11.2% in December from 12.2% in November. The unemployment rate for individuals aged 25 to 54 decreased to 4.2% in December from 4.4% in November. The unemployment rate for those aged 55 and older decreased to 4.5%, down from 4.7% in November.
In Ontario, the unemployment rate among population groups designated as visible minorities was estimated at 6.1% in December compared to a 4.3% 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 6.7% in December compared to a 4.9% rate for the non-Indigenous population. The Indigenous population includes First Nations people living off reserve (5.9%) and individuals who identify as Métis (7.6%) (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 December, the average unemployment rate increased from November in three of the sixteen Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs). Increases were seen in Brantford (5.2% in November to 5.8% in December), Belleville (5.2% to 5.6%) and Barrie (4.8% to 5.0%).
Ten CMAs had average unemployment rates that decreased from November to December, led by Guelph (5.0% in November to 4.3% in December), Windsor (8.6% to 8.2%), Peterborough (3.1% to 2.7%), Thunder Bay (4.8% to 4.4%) and Oshawa (5.1% to 4.7%).
The average unemployment rate was unchanged in Ottawa-Gatineau (4.5%), Kingston (5.7%) and Hamilton (5.0%).
Chart 6 shows the average unemployment rate for Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) in December 2022.
In December, an estimated 82,900 Ontarians or 19.2% of all unemployed people were unemployed for 27 weeks or longer (long-term unemployed). This compared to 76,400 Ontarians or 16.9% of all unemployed people in November and 126,200 or 25.3% of all unemployed people a year earlier in December 2021. The long-term unemployed share in December was the highest seen since August (19.4%).
The average time in unemployment was 20.5 weeks in December, above the average in November (19.5 weeks) and the highest seen since August (20.9 weeks). However, it was below the average in December 2021 (22.7 weeks).
Chart 7 shows Ontario’s long-term unemployment (27 weeks or more) as a percentage of total unemployment, January 2006 to December 2022.
Spotlight: Average hourly wages by sex, age and industry
The average hourly wage rates reported in this section have not been adjusted to account for the rate of inflation.
The average hourly wage rate in Ontario for employees was $32.84 in December, above the average rate across Canada ($32.06). Ontario’s average hourly wage rate in December rose by 5.5% on a year-over-year basis (by $1.71 from $31.13 in December 2021), below the 6.4% increase from November. This was the fifth consecutive month with average hourly wage growth above 5.0% on a year-over-year basis.
December’s wage growth (5.5%) was also below the growth seen in the Ontario Consumer Price Index as of November (6.4%). The Consumer Price Index (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 December 2022.
The average hourly wage rate was $30.88 for women in December, rising by 6.6% ($1.91) from $28.97 a year earlier. For men, the average hourly wage rate was $34.73, an increase of 4.4% ($1.46) from $33.27 in December 2021.
For youth aged 15 to 24, the average hourly wage rate was $19.87 in December, an increase of 5.6% ($1.05) from $18.82 in December 2021. The average hourly wage rate for individuals aged 25 to 54 rose to $35.51 in December, up 6.3% ($2.12) from $33.39 a year ago. The average hourly wage rate for those aged 55 and older increased by 2.5% ($0.81) to $33.66 in December from $32.85 a year earlier.
In December, the industries with the largest increases in average hourly wage rates compared to a year earlier were:
- Accommodation and food services: +13.5% ($2.32) to $19.52
- Other services (except public administration): +10.4% ($2.78) to $29.42
- Business, building and other support services: +10.2% ($2.39) to $25.90
Only one industry experienced a decrease in its average hourly wage rate in December compared to a year earlier:
- Information, culture and recreation: -2.5% (-$0.82) to $31.83
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
December 2022 Labour Market Report:
- CSV, Chart 1, employment in Ontario from January 2005 to December 2022, 1KB
- CSV, Chart 2, industries with highest and lowest employment change in Ontario, November 2022 to December 2022, 2KB
- CSV, Chart 3, employment change for occupations in Ontario from December 2021 (year-to-date) to December 2022 (year-to-date), 2KB
- CSV, Chart 4, employment change for Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) from December 2021 to December 2022, 2KB
- CSV, Chart 5, unemployment rates, Ontario and Canada, January 2005 to December 2022, 2KB
- CSV, Chart 6, average unemployment rates for Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs), December 2022, 2KB
- CSV, Chart 7, Ontario’s long-term unemployed (27 weeks or more) as a percentage of total unemployment, January 2006 to December 2022, 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 December 2022, 2KB