Quick facts

In September 2018:

  • There were 11.9 million people in Ontario aged 15 years or older
    • 7.7 million (65%) were either working or actively looking for work
    • 7.3 million (61%) were employed and 81% of them had a full-time job
  • Ontario’s unemployment rate was 5.9% (452,900 unemployed people)

Employment increased in September

Employment in Ontario increased by 36,100 in September, following a loss of 80,100 jobs in August.

Chart 1 shows employment in Ontario from January 2013 to September 2018.

Line graph for chart 1. Data file available below image.

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Table 14-10-0019-01, (seasonally adjusted data).

Download data, chart 1

Full-time vs. part-time

Part-time (38,900) jobs accounted for all the increase, while full-time employment was little changed.

So far in 2018, full-time employment is up by 143,500 compared to the same period in 2017. Part-time employment is lower (-20,800).

Employment increase/decrease by age

Youth employment (those aged 15 to 24) increased by 6,900 in September, following a decrease of 18,700 in August.

Employment for people aged 25 to 54 increased by 24,600 in September compared to August and those aged 55 and older gained 4,600 jobs.

Employment in Canada rose by 63,300 in September, after declining by 51,600 in August.

Unemployment rate increased to 5.9%

Chart 2 shows unemployment rates, Ontario and Canada, January 2013 to September 2018.

Line graph for chart 2.

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Table 14-10-0019-01, (seasonally adjusted data).

Download data, chart 2

Ontario’s unemployment rate increased to 5.9% in September, from 5.7% in August. Ontario’s unemployment rate had previously been below Canada’s since May 2015.

Canada’s unemployment rate was 5.9% in September, matching the provincial average, and down from 6.0% in August.

Unemployment rate by age

For people aged 15 to 24, the unemployment rate increased to 12.2% in September, from 11.4% in August.

The unemployment rates for people aged 25 to 54 remained at 5.0% in September compared to August and increased to 4.2% from 4.1% for those aged 55 and older.

Lowest and highest unemployment rates

Chart 3 shows Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) with highest and lowest unemployment rates in Canada, September 2018.

Bar graph for chart 3. Data file available below image.

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Table 14-10-0294-01, (seasonally adjusted data to reduce volatility caused by small sample size).

Download data, chart 3

St. Catharines-Niagara recorded the highest unemployment rate in Ontario (7.5%) in September, while St. John’s, Newfoundland recorded the highest unemployment rate in Canada (9.6%).

Guelph recorded the lowest unemployment rate in Canada in September (3.6%).

Year-over-year comparisons

Over the first nine months of 2018, employment in Ontario increased by 99,700 net jobs for adults 25 years and older compared to the first nine months of 2017.

Employment increase and decrease by education level

Chart 4 shows Ontario employment change by highest level of education attained, aged 25 and older, September 2017 to September 2018, year-to-date.

Bar graph for chart 4. Data file available below image.

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Table 14-10-0019-01, unadjusted data

Download data, chart 4

Adults with a university degree led gains, with 101,500 net new jobs.

Individuals with some postsecondary education recorded job gains of 33,800, while employment for those with certificates or diplomas increased by 48,100.

People with less than high school education and those with high school education recorded job losses of 26,400 and 57,300, respectively.

Unemployment rate by education level

The unemployment rate for adults aged 25 and older with postsecondary education credentials was 4.3% over the first nine months of 2018, down from 4.5% a year earlier.

The unemployment rate for adults without postsecondary education credentials was 5.9%, down from 6.7% compared to the first nine months of 2017.

Employment increase and decrease by occupation

Chart 5 shows Ontario employment change by occupation, September 2017 to September 2018, year-to-date.Bar graph for chart 5. Data file available below image.

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Table 14-10-0296-01, unadjusted data.

Download data, chart 5

Seven of the 10 major occupational groups in Ontario had net employment gains over the first nine months of 2018 compared to a year earlier.

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

These occupations gained the most jobs:

  • business, finance and administration (66,600)
  • management (57,200)
  • trades, transport and equipment operators and related (30,700)

These occupations lost jobs:

  • health (33,700)
  • sales and service (17,200)
  • art, culture, recreation and sport (8,900)

Long-term unemployment decreased

Chart 6 shows Ontario’s long-term unemployed (27 weeks or more) as a percentage of total unemployment, September 2010 to September 2018, year-to-date.

Bar graph for chart 6. Data file available below image.

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Table 14-10-0056-01, unadjusted data.

Download data, chart 6

Over the first nine months of 2018, an average of 75,300 people were long-term unemployed, or unemployed for 27 weeks or longer. This was down from 91,000 a year earlier.

Long-term unemployed individuals accounted for 16.8% of the total number of unemployed people over the first nine months of 2018. This compared with 19.2% a year earlier.

The percentage of long-term unemployed individuals is still higher compared with the pre-recession level in September 2008, when 13.5% of all unemployed people were long-term unemployed.

Average time in long-term unemployment

The average time in unemployment decreased to 17.2 weeks over the first nine months of 2018 from 19.1 weeks a year earlier.

Download data

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey

September 2018 Labour Market Report:

Open Government Licence Ontario

Updated: July 23, 2021
Published: October 09, 2018