Quick facts

In November 2017, there were 11.8 million people in Ontario aged 15 years or older, 7.6 million, or (65%), were either working or actively looking for work. Of this population, 7.2 million, or 61%, were employed and 81% of them had a full time job.

Ontario’s unemployment rate was 5.5%, with 418,000 unemployed people

Employment increased in November

Employment in Ontario increased by 43,500 jobs in November, following an increase of 5,200 new jobs in October. November’s job gain was the largest recorded since February 2008 (47,900).

Chart 1 shows employment in Ontario from January 2012 to November 2017.

Line graph in chart 1 shows employment in Ontario increasing from 6,669,800 in January 2012 to 7,220,800 in November 2017

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Table 282-0087, (seasonally adjusted data).

Download data from Chart 1

Full-time vs. part-time

There were 25,300 new full-time and 18,900 new part-time jobs in November.

Employment increase/decrease by age

Youth employment (those aged 15 to 24) increased by 16,600 jobs in November, following an increase of 13,700 jobs in October.

People aged 25 to 54 saw an increase in employment of 3,600 in November compared to October and those 55 and older gained 23,300 jobs.

Employment in Canada increased by 79,500 in November, following an increase of 35,300 jobs in October.

Unemployment rate decreased to 5.5%

Chart 2 shows unemployment rates, Ontario and Canada, January 2012 to November 2017.

Line graph for Chart 2.

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Table 282-0087, (seasonally adjusted data).

Download data from Chart 2

Ontario’s unemployment rate decreased to 5.5% in November from 5.9% in October, the lowest rate in Ontario since April 1990 (5.3%).

Canada’s unemployment rate decreased to 5.9% in November, from 6.3% in October.

Unemployment rate by age

The unemployment rate for youth (those aged 15 to 24) increased to 11.2% in November from 10.9% in October.

The unemployment rates for people aged 25 to 54 decreased from 5.3% in October to 4.6% in November and from 4.5% to 4.4% for those 55 and older.

Lowest and highest unemployment rates

Chart 3 shows Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) with highest and lowest unemployment rates in Canada, November 2017.

Bar graph for chart 3.

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Table 282-0135, (seasonally adjusted data to reduce volatility caused by small sample size).

Download data from Chart 3

Barrie recorded the lowest unemployment rate (3.4%) in Ontario in November, and the second lowest rate in Canada, behind Victoria, BC (3.3%).

St. John’s, Newfoundland recorded the highest unemployment rate in Canada (8.5%), while St. Catharines-Niagara had the highest rate in Ontario (7.1%).

Year-over-year comparisons

In the first eleven months of 2017, employment in Ontario increased by an estimated 102,400 jobs for adults 25 years and older compared to the first eleven months of 2016.

Employment increase and decrease by education level

Chart 4 shows Ontario employment change by highest level of education attained, aged 25 and older, November 2016 and November 2017, year-to-date.

Bar graph for chart 4.

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Table 282-0003, unadjusted data.

Download data from Chart 4

People with a high school level education gained the most jobs, with 87,200 net new jobs.

Those with a university degree had job gains of 51,600, while those with a postsecondary education (PSE) certificate or diploma lost 5,200 jobs.

People with less than high school education had job losses of 14,300 and those with some PSE had job losses of 16,900.

Unemployment rate by education level

The unemployment rate for adults aged 25 and older with PSE credentials was 4.4% over the first eleven months of 2017, down from 4.8% a year earlier.

The unemployment rate for adults without PSE credentials was 6.4%, down from 6.7% a year earlier.

Employment increase and decrease by occupation

Chart 5 shows Ontario employment change by occupation, between November 2016 and November 2017, year-to-date.

Bar graph for chart 5.

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Table 282-0041, unadjusted data.

Download data from Chart 5

Seven of the ten major occupational groups in Ontario had employment growth over the first eleven months of 2017 compared to a year earlier.

Learn more about the National Occupation Classification (NOC) system.

These occupations gained the most jobs:

  • Health (52,500)
  • Sales and service (41,700)
  • Management (40,900)

These occupations lost jobs:

  • Education, law and social, community and government services (58,300)
  • Natural resources, agriculture and related production (4,400)
  • Business, finance and administration (3,900)

Long-term unemployment decreased

Chart 6 shows Ontario’s long-term unemployed (27 weeks or more) as a percentage of total unemployment, November 2009 to November 2017, year-to-date.

Bar graph for chart 6.

Source: Labour Force Survey, Table 282-0047, unadjusted data.

Download data from Chart 6

Over the first eleven months of 2017, an estimated 87,900 people were unemployed for 27 weeks or more, or in long-term unemployment. This was down from 98,000 in the first eleven months of 2016 and well above pre-recessionary levels.

Long-term unemployed individuals accounted for 19.2% of the total number of unemployed people in the first eleven months of 2017. Compare this with 19.8% a year earlier.

Average time in long-term unemployment

The average time in unemployment decreased to 19.2 weeks over the first eleven months of 2017 from 19.8 weeks a year earlier.

Download data

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey
Novemer 2017 Labour Market Report:

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Updated: July 23, 2021
Published: December 15, 2017