Labour market report, January 2022
Employment in Ontario decreased by 145,700 in January. Get the details in this report.
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In January 2022:
- There were 12.4 million people in Ontario aged 15 years or older
- 8.1 million (65.0%) were in the labour force. The labour force decreased in January (-53,600 or -0.7%) compared to December.
- 7.5 million (60.3%) were employed, down by 145,700 (-1.9%) from December.
- Ontario's unemployment rate increased to 7.3% in January from 6.1% in December and 591,400 people were unemployed, up 18.4% (92,100) from December.
This report is based on the Labour Force Survey (LFS), a household survey carried out by Statistics Canada. January’s LFS results cover labour market conditions during the week of January 9 to 15.
The results reflect labour market conditions during Ontario’s temporary move into Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen on January 5, 2022. Capacity limits, other restrictions or closures had been re-introduced in retail stores and high-contact settings such as restaurants, bars, concert halls and gyms. The February LFS, to be released on March 11, will reflect the easing of public health measures, starting on January 31, 2022.
Employment increased in January
Employment in Ontario decreased in January (-145,700 or -1.9%), following an increase of 52,500 (0.7%) in December. Employment declined for the first time since May 2021.
Ontario employment was above its pre-pandemic level since September 2021 and continued to remain higher until January 2022. With January’s decline, Ontario employment (7,493,500) was at the February 2020 pre-pandemic level.
Chart 1 shows employment in Ontario from January 2005 to January 2022.
Full-time vs. part-time
Part-time jobs accounted for most of January’s job losses, falling by 104,000 (-7.5%) positions. Full-time jobs were down by 41,700 (-0.7%).
Employment change by sex and age
January’s employment decrease was 41,600 (-1.0%) for men and 104,100 (-2.9%) for women. Employment among men was 1.1% (42,900) above its pre-COVID February 2020 level and employment among women fell below its pre-COVID February 2020 level by 1.2% (-44,100), after being at or above the level since September 2021.
Youth (ages 15-24) employment decline by 106,500 (-10.3%) in January, after increasing by 18,500 (1.8%) in December. Employment for people aged 25 to 54 decreased by 44,800 (-0.9%) in January, following an increase of 31,700 (0.6%) in December. Employment for those aged 55 and older increased by 5,500 (0.3%), after increasing by 2,300 (0.1%) in December.
In January, youth employment was 9.0% (91,700) below its pre-COVID February 2020 level and employment among those aged 25-54 was 2.3% (109,400) above. Employment among those aged 55 and over was 1.1% (-18,900) below.
Employment in Canada decreased by 200,100 (1.0%) in January after increasing by 78,600 (0.4%) in December.
Employment change by industry
The government’s restrictions and health measures aimed at addressing the impact of COVID‑19 should be considered in the context of employment change by sector.
Accommodation and food services (-74,600 or -19.1%), information, culture and recreation (-48,100 or -14.2%), manufacturing (-24,900 or -3.2%) and wholesale and retail trade (-16,100 or -1.4%) led job losses in January. There were notable employment gains in construction (19,100 or 3.5%) and professional, scientific and technical services (12,300 or 1.6%).
In January, ten of the 16 major industry groups had employment levels that were above pre-COVID February 2020 levels, led by professional, scientific and technical services (105,900 or 15.8%), finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (38,100 or 6.3%), wholesale and retail trade (34,900 or 3.2%) and public administration (31,500 or 8.1%).
Employment in accommodation and food services (-127,700 or -28.7%) was furthest below its pre-COVID February 2020 level, followed by other services, excluding public administration (-48,100 or -15.7%), business, building and other services (-40,600 or -12.4%) and agriculture (-16,600 or -21.2%)
Chart 2 shows industries by employment change in Ontario, February 2020 to January 2022.
Unemployment rate increased to 7.3 %
Chart 3 shows unemployment rates, Ontario and Canada, January 2005 to January 2022.
Ontario’s unemployment rate increased to 7.3% in January from 6.1% in December, following seven consecutive monthly declines. The rise in the unemployment rate was the largest percentage point increase since April 2021. Ontario’s unemployment rate in February 2020 was 5.5%.
Canada’s unemployment rate increased to 6.5% in January from 6.0% in December. Canada’s unemployment rate in February 2020 was 5.7%.
Unemployment rate by sex and age
The unemployment rate for women was 7.9% in January, up from 6.6% in December, while the rate for men increased to 6.8% from 5.8% during the same period.
In Ontario, the unemployment rate among population groups designated as visible minorities was estimated at 9.3% in January in comparison to a 6.2% rate for non-visible minorities and those that did not identify as Indigenous (data are for the population aged 15 to 69 and are not adjusted for seasonality).
For individuals aged 15 to 24, the unemployment rate climb to 16.6% in January from 11.0% in December and was the highest rate since May 2021. The youth unemployment rate reached a record high of 29.5% in May 2020.
The unemployment rate for individuals aged 25 to 54 was 5.7% in January, up from 5.1% in December. The unemployment rate for those aged 55 and older increased to 6.3% from 6.1%
In January, an average of 114,600 Ontarians or 19.4% of all unemployed people were unemployed for 27 weeks or longer (long-term unemployed). This compared to 126,200 or 25.3% of all unemployed people in December, and much higher than the pre-COVID February 2020 level of 71,100. However, long-term unemployment has been falling sharply since its peak in December 2020, and that decline has accelerated since September 2021.
The average time in unemployment was 21.9 weeks in January 2022 compared to 16.0 weeks in February 2020.
Chart 4 shows the number of people unemployed for 27 weeks or more in Ontario, January 2005 to January 2022.
Employment and unemployment in urban centres
Employment change in urban centres
Chart 5 shows employment change for Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) from January 2021 to January 2022.
In January 2022, employment in fifteen of the sixteen Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) was at or above January 2021 levels, led by Toronto (224,600 or 6.8%) and followed by Windsor (30,400 or 19.9%) and London (24,600 or 9.2%). The employment level fell in Kingston (-2,300 or -2.7%) and was unchanged in Brantford during the period.
Employment in most of the 16 Ontario CMAs had reached or surpassed pre-COVID February 2020 levels in January 2022, led by Toronto (68,100 or 2.0%), London (22,700 or 8.4%) and Windsor (14,700 or 8.7%).
Barrie (-14,200 or -11.0%), Ottawa-Gatineau (-12,500 or -2.1%) and Greater Sudbury (-2,300 or -2.6%) had employment levels that were notably below pre-COVID February 2020 levels.
Lowest and highest unemployment rates in urban centres
Chart 6 shows Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) with highest and lowest unemployment rates in Canada, January 2022.
Peterborough recorded the highest unemployment rate in Canada in January (8.7%), followed by Calgary, Alberta (8.5%), Windsor (8.2%), St. Catharines-Niagara (7.8%) and Toronto (7.7%), which had the same rate as Saint John, New Brunswick.
Belleville recorded the lowest unemployment rate in Ontario in January (3.9%), while Sherbrooke, Quebec recorded the lowest unemployment rate in Canada (2.8%).
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey
January 2022 Labour Market Report:
- CSV, Chart 1, employment in Ontario from January 2005 to January 2022, 1KB
- CSV, Chart 2, industries with highest and lowest employment change in Ontario, February 2020 to January 2022, 2KB
- CSV, Chart 3, unemployment rates, Ontario and Canada, January 2005 to January 2022, 2KB
- CSV, Chart 4, number of people unemployed for 27 weeks or more in Ontario, January 2005 to January 2022, 2KB
- CSV, Chart 5, employment change for Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) from January 2021 to January 2022, 2KB
- CSV, Chart 6, Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) highest and lowest unemployment rates, January 2022, 2KB