Quick facts

In July 2021:

  • There were 12.3 million people in Ontario aged 15 years or older
    • 8.0 million (65.0%) were in the labour force, including those who had worked, were unemployed and looking for work or did not work at their job, which includes people on temporary layoff because of ongoing covid 19-related business closures. The labour force increased in July (45,500 or 0.6%) compared to June.
    • 7.4 million (59.8%) were employed, up by 72,400 (1.0%) from June.
  • Ontario's unemployment rate decreased to 8.0% in July from 8.4% in June and 641,900 people were unemployed, down 4.0% (-26,900) from June.

Important note:

This report is based on the Labour Force Survey (LFS), a household survey carried out by Statistics Canada. July’s LFS results cover labour market conditions as of the week of July 11 to 17.

Ontario’s mandatory closure of non-essential businesses and other measures aimed at addressing the impact of covid 19 took effect on March 24, 2020.

Ontario moved to Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan on June 30, which included increased capacity limits for retail shopping and both indoor and outdoor gatherings, as well as the opening of malls and the resumption of some personal services. The province reopened indoor dining and permitted recreational activities, with certain limitations, near the end of the LFS reference week (July 16).

The types of businesses that were deemed essential and remained open during the covid 19 economic shutdown and the types of businesses that reopened at the different stages of the Ontario government’s plan for reopening the economy should be considered in the context of information provided in this report.

Employment increased in July

Employment in Ontario increased by 72,400 (1.0%) in July, following an increase of 116,900 (1.6%) in June.

In July, employment in Ontario was 7,373,100 and 118,000 (-1.6%) below its pre-COVID-19 February 2020 level.

Chart 1 shows employment in Ontario from January 2005 to July 2021.

Line graph for chart 1 shows employment in Ontario from January 2005 to July 2021.

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Table 14-10-0287-01, (seasonally adjusted data).

Download data, chart 1

Full-time vs. part-time

Full-time jobs increased by 33,900 (0.6%) and part-time jobs increased by 38,500 (2.9%) in July. Employment change by sex and age.

July’s employment increase was 35,200 (1.0%) for women and 37,200 (1.0 %) for men. With July’s gains, employment among women was 1.6% (-55,400) below its pre-COVID February 2020 level and employment among men was 1.6% (-62,600) behind.

Youth employment (ages 15-24) increased by 42,500 (4.6%) in July, after rising by 85,700 (10.2%) in June. Employment for people aged 25 to 54 increased by 47,200 (1.0%) in July, following an increase of 20,000 (0.4%) in June. Employment for those aged 55 and older declined by 17,400 (1.1%) in July, following a decrease of 11,100 (0.7%) in June.

In July, youth employment remained further from pre-COVID February 2020 levels (-5.3% or -54,400) than employment among those aged 25-54 (-0.3% or -13,700) or those aged 55 and over (-3.0% or -50,000).

Employment in Canada increased by 94,000 (0.5%) in July after increasing by 230,700 (1.2%) in June and was 246,400 (1.3%) below its pre-COVID February 2020 level.

Employment change by industry

The government’s restrictions on the types of businesses that were deemed essential and other measures aimed at addressing the impact of COVID-19 should be considered in the context of employment change by sector.

In July, employment in accommodation and food services was furthest below its pre-COVID February 2020 level (-80,200 or -18.1%), followed by construction (-39,200 or -7.0%), information, culture and recreation (-31,100 or -10.3%), business, building and other support services (-22,200 or -6.8%) and transportation and warehousing (-22,200 or -5.6%).

Employment was furthest above pre-COVID February 2020 levels in professional, scientific and technical services (67,500 or 10.1%), manufacturing (27,100 or 3.6%), public administration (17,400 or 4.5%), health care and social assistance (11,300 or 1.2%) and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (7,400 or 1.2%).

Chart 2 shows industries by employment change in Ontario, February 2020 to July 2021.

 Bar graph for chart 2.

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Table 14-10-0355-02, (seasonally adjusted data).

Download data, chart 2

Unemployment rate decreased to 8.0%

Chart 3 shows unemployment rates, Ontario and Canada, January 2005 to July 2021.

Line graph for Chart 3.

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Table 14-10-0287-01, (seasonally adjusted data).

Download data, chart 3

Ontario’s unemployment rate in July was 8.0%, down from 8.4% in June. The unemployment rate in February 2020 was 5.5%.

Canada’s unemployment rate fell to 7.5% in July from 7.8% in June. Canada’s unemployment rate in February 2020 was 5.7%.

Unemployment rate by sex and age

The unemployment rate for women was 7.4% in July, down from 7.9% in June, while the rate for men fell to 8.5% from 8.8% during the same period.

In Ontario, the unemployment rate among population groups designated as visible minorities was estimated at 11.2% in July in comparison to a 7.4% 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 decreased to 14.5% in July from 17.2% in June. The youth unemployment rate reached a record high of 30.0% a year ago in July 2020.

The unemployment rate for individuals aged 25 to 54 was unchanged at 6.5% in July compared to June, while the rate for those aged 55 and older decreased to 8.2% from 8.3%.

Long-term unemployment

In July, an average of 170,600 Ontarians or 26.6% of all unemployed people were unemployed for 27 weeks or longer (long-term unemployed). This was down from 215,700 in the previous month and two and a half times the pre-COVID February 2020 level of 68,800.

The average time in unemployment was 26.0 weeks in July 2021 compared to 15.9 weeks in February 2020.

Chart 4 shows the number of people unemployed for 27 week or more in Ontario, January 2005 to July 2021.

Line graph for Chart 4.

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Table 14-10-0342-01, (seasonally adjusted data).

Download data, chart 4

Employment and unemployment in urban centres

Employment change in urban centres

Chart 5 shows employment change for Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) from June 2021 to July 2021.

Line graph for chart 5

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Table 14-10-0380-01, (seasonally adjusted data three-month moving average to reduce volatility caused by small sample size).

Download data, chart 5

Toronto (44,400 or 1.4%), Barrie (4,600 or 4.1%) and Ottawa-Gatineau (3,300 or 0.5%) led employment gains among the sixteen Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) between June and July. Employment level fell in Hamilton (-2,500 or -0.6%)

In July, employment in 11 of the 16 Ontario urban centres remained below pre-COVID February 2020 levels, led by Toronto (-123,700 or -3.6%), Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (-14,900 or -4.5%, St. Catharines-Niagara (-14,800 or -7.1%), Belleville (13,400 or -23%), Hamilton (-12,200 or -2.9%) and Oshawa (-12.100 or -5.7).

Ottawa-Gatineau (13,700 or 2.3%), London (9,000 or 3.3%), Peterborough (7,200 or 12.3%) and Guelph (5,600 or 6.5%) reported employment that was above 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, July 2021.

Bar graph for chart 6.

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Table 14-10-0380-01, (seasonally adjusted data three-month moving average to reduce volatility caused by small sample size).

Download data, chart 6

Windsor recorded the highest unemployment rate in Canada in July (11.1%), followed by St. Catharines-Niagara (10.6%).

Brantford recorded the lowest unemployment rate in Ontario in July (6.1%), while Québec City recorded with the lowest unemployment rate in Canada (4.0%).

Download data

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey

July 2021 Labour Market Report:

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