Labour market report, January 2023
Employment in Ontario increased by 62,800 in January. Get the details in this report.
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In January 2023:
- There were 12.6 million people in Ontario aged 15 years or older
- 8.3 million (65.5%) were in the labour force. The labour force increased by 50,900 (0.6%) in January compared to December.
- 7.8 million (62.2%) were employed, up by 62,800 (0.8%) from December.
- Ontario’s unemployment rate decreased to 5.2% in January from 5.3% in December and 426,600 people were unemployed, down 12,000 (−2.7%) 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 15 to 21.
Employment increased in January
Employment in Ontario increased in January by 62,800 (0.8%) to 7,849,700, after increasing by 36,400 (0.5%) in December. Provincial employment has been steadily increasing since October 2022, with job gains totalling 134,800 as of January.
Employment in Canada increased in January by 150,000 (0.8%), after increasing by 69,200 (0.3%) in December. A total of 20,032,300 people were employed in Canada in January.
Chart 1 shows employment in Ontario from January 2005 to January 2023.
Full-time vs. part-time
Full-time employment accounted for most of January’s job gains, increasing by 57,400 (0.9%) positions. Part-time employment increased by 5,400 (0.4%) in January.
Employment change by sex and age
Employment increased by 33,100 (0.9%) to 3,736,400 for women in January after increasing by 27,800 (0.8%) in December. Employment increased by 29,800 (0.7%) for men, after increasing by 8,600 (0.2%) in December. Total male employment was 4,113,300 in January.
Youth (aged 15 to 24) employment increased by 5,200 (0.5%) to 1,064,200 in January, after increasing by 29,300 (2.8%) in December. Employment for people aged 25 to 54 fell by 52,000 (1.0%) to 5,083,300, after rising by 10,000 (0.2%) in December. Employment for those aged 55 and older increased by 5,600 (0.3%) to 1,702,200, following a decrease of 2,800 (−0.2%) in December.
Employment change by industry
Ontario’s largest industry groups by employment in January included wholesale and retail trade (1,110,400 or 14.1% of total employment), health care and social assistance (959,800 or 12.2%), professional, scientific and technical services (819,100 or 10.4%), manufacturing (799,000 or 10.2%) and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (682,200 or 8.7%).
Nine of the sixteen major industry groups recorded job gains in January. Health care and social assistance (21,100 or 2.2%), wholesale and retail trade (16,000 or 1.5%), other services (except public administration) (14,600 or 5.7%), information, culture and recreation (13,700 or 4.4%) and manufacturing (13,700 or 1.7%) led job gains.
Employment declined in seven of the sixteen major industry groups in January. There were notable employment losses in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (−13,600 or −2.0%), public administration (−5,600 or −1.2%), transportation and warehousing (−3,800 or −1.0%) and professional, scientific and technical services (−3,400 or −0.4%).
Chart 2 shows industries by employment change in Ontario, December 2022 to January 2023.
Employment change by occupation
Ontario’s largest occupational groups by employment in January included sales and service (1,602,900 or 20.7% of total employment), business, finance and administration (1,319,500 or 17.0%), trades, transport and equipment operators (1,081,800 or 14.0%), occupations in education, law and social, community and government services (937,800 or 12.1%) and management (787,800 or 10.2%).
Nine of the ten major occupational groups in Ontario had net employment gains in January 2023 when compared to January 2022. Occupations in education, law and social, community and government services (75,900 or 8.8%), trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations (63,900 or 6.3%) and management occupations (46,700 or 6.3%) led job gains.
Employment losses were recorded for occupations in manufacturing and utilities (−6,100 or −1.7%).
Chart 3 shows occupations by employment change in Ontario, January 2022 (year-to-date) to January 2023 (year-to-date).
Employment change in urban centres
In January 2023, employment in thirteen of the sixteen Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) was at or above its January 2022 level, led by Ottawa-Gatineau (50,300 or 6.6%) and followed by Barrie (19,900 or 17.4%), St. Catharines-Niagara (12,100 or 5.8%), Toronto (8,600 or 0.2%) and Oshawa (8,200 or 3.7%).
Employment losses were recorded in Thunder Bay (−2,000 or −3.2%) and Guelph (−1,600 or −1.6%).
Employment was little changed in Peterborough (700 or 1.1%) in January.
Chart 4 shows employment change for Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) from January 2022 to January 2023.
Unemployment rate decreased to 5.2%
Ontario’s unemployment rate was 5.2% in January, down from 5.3% in December. This was the second consecutive month with a decline in the provincial unemployment rate, moving the rate closer to 2022’s low of 5.1%, which was recorded in July. January’s unemployment rate was well below the rate from January 2022 (7.5%), when public health measures such as capacity limits were temporarily re-introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Canada’s unemployment rate was 5.0% in January, unchanged from December’s rate and below the rate from a year ago (6.5%). The national unemployment rate 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 January 2023.
Unemployment rate by sex, age, visible minority status and Indigenous group
The unemployment rate for women remained stable at 5.3% in January. The rate for men decreased to 5.0% in January from 5.4% in December.
For individuals aged 15 to 24, the unemployment rate fell to 10.6% in January from 11.0% in December. The unemployment rate for individuals aged 25 to 54 decreased to 4.3% in January from 4.4% in December. The unemployment rate for those aged 55 and older decreased to 4.2%, down from 4.3% in December.
In Ontario, the unemployment rate among population groups designated as visible minorities was estimated at 6.4% in January 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 6.6% in January compared to a 5.0% rate for the non-Indigenous population. The Indigenous population includes First Nations people living off reserve (5.4%) and individuals who identify as Métis (7.7%) (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 January, the average unemployment rate increased from December in five of the sixteen Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs). The largest increases were seen in Peterborough (2.4% in December to 3.4% in January), Belleville (5.3% to 6.1%) and Hamilton (4.7% to 5.2%).
Eleven CMAs had average unemployment rates that decreased from December to January, led by Windsor (7.9% in December to 6.2% in January) and followed by St. Catharines-Niagara (4.8% to 4.3%) and Oshawa (4.7% to 4.3%).
Chart 6 shows the average unemployment rate for Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) in January 2023.
In January, an estimated 73,800 Ontarians or 17.3% of all unemployed people were unemployed for 27 weeks or longer (long-term unemployed). This compared to 79,800 Ontarians or 18.2% of all unemployed people in December and 116,900 or 19.3% of all unemployed people a year earlier in January 2022. The long-term unemployed share in January was below the average monthly share in 2022 (18.2%).
The average time in unemployment was 17.5 weeks in January, below the average in December (20.3 weeks) and the lowest seen since September 2022 (16.8 weeks). It was also well below the average in January 2022 (21.0 weeks).
Chart 7 shows Ontario’s long-term unemployment (27 weeks or more) as a percentage of total unemployment, January 2005 to January 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 $33.96 in January, above the average rate across Canada ($33.01). Ontario’s average hourly wage rate in January rose by 3.6% on a year-over-year basis (by $1.19 from $32.77 in January 2022), below the 5.1% increase from December. This was the first month since July 2022 where average hourly wage growth was below 5.0% on a year-over-year basis.
January’s wage growth (3.6%) was well below the growth seen in the Ontario Consumer Price Index as of December (6.0%). 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 January 2023.
The average hourly wage rate was $31.45 for women in January, rising by 5.0% ($1.51) from $29.94 a year earlier. For men, the average hourly wage rate was $36.44, an increase of 2.6% ($0.91) from $35.53 in January 2022.
For youth aged 15 to 24, the average hourly wage rate was $19.89 in January, an increase of 3.1% ($0.59) from $19.30 in January 2022. The average hourly wage rate for individuals aged 25 to 54 rose to $36.43 in January, up 4.1% ($1.45) from $34.98 a year earlier. The average hourly wage rate for those aged 55 and older increased by 4.9% ($1.68) to $36.10 in January from $34.42 a year earlier.
In January, the industries with the largest increases in average hourly wage rates compared to a year earlier were:
- Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas: +16.7% ($6.65) to $46.51
- Manufacturing: +10.7% ($3.19) to $33.06
- Professional, scientific and technical services: +7.9% ($3.34) to $45.52
Industries with decreases in average hourly wage rates in January compared to a year ago were:
- Information, culture and recreation: −12.8% (−$4.76) to $32.56
- Agriculture: −5.6% (−$1.33) to $22.43
- Transportation and warehousing: −1.3% (−0.39) to $29.45
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
January 2023 Labour Market Report:
- CSV, Chart 1, employment in Ontario from January 2005 to January 2023, 1KB
- CSV, Chart 2, industries with highest and lowest employment change in Ontario, December 2022 to January 2023, 2KB
- CSV, Chart 3, employment change for occupations in Ontario from January 2022 (year-to-date) to January 2023 (year-to-date), 2KB
- CSV, Chart 4, employment change for Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) from August 2021 to August 2022, 2KB
- CSV, Chart 5, uunemployment rates, Ontario and Canada, January 2005 to January 2023, 2KB
- CSV, Chart 6, aaverage unemployment rates for Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs), January 2023, July 2022 1KB
- CSV, Chart 7, Ontario’s long-term unemployed (27 weeks or more) as a percentage of total unemployment, January 2005 to January 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 January 2023, 2KB