Statistics Canada has published its May 2022 payroll employment, earnings, hours, and job vacancy report. According to the report, the number of Canadian employees receiving pay or benefits from their employer has declined for the first time since May 2021.
According to the survey, which was compiled using data from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls, and Hours, 26,000 jobs were no longer on the payroll as of last May. The biggest drops were recorded in Ontario and Manitoba, which reported 30,000 and 2,500 job openings, respectively. The only province to report an increase in payroll employees was British Columbia.
The services sector, which reported a loss of over 17,000 jobs on payroll in areas such as educational services, healthcare, and social assistance, experienced some of the most significant decreases.
There was also a significant decrease in construction jobs across all industries. In May, over 17,500 jobs were lost, the first decrease since July 2021. The majority of construction jobs were lost in Ontario, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the sector's employment decrease. This loss is primarily the result of strikes across the province, which caused significant delays on several projects.
In addition, Ontario had the country's largest decrease in retail trade employment. This is the second month in a row that payroll employees in retail trade professions have decreased. However, the current overall rate of employment in retail trade is 6% higher than it was in May 2021. In contrast to Ontario, retail trade employment increased in Quebec, New Brunswick, British Columbia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The only sector that expanded in each province was professional, scientific, and technical services, which added over 10,000 jobs, primarily in tech occupations like computer system design and related services.
Despite job losses, retail trade had the highest increase in weekly earnings in May, up 9.3 percent from the same period in 2021. Wages for professional, scientific, and technical services have increased by 8.1%. In comparison, the arts, entertainment, and recreation industries saw the greatest drop in average weekly earnings, falling 9.7 percent.
Employees' average weekly earnings are up 2.5 percent from the April report. This is most likely due to wage increases or changes in employment for workers. According to the report, the higher average is not due to an increase in hours worked, which remained unchanged from April at 1.5 percent above pre-covid levels.
This data also shows that the overall trend of year-over-year increases is continuing. In May, New Brunswick reported the highest increase, climbing to 7.4 percent when compared to May 2021. Newfoundland and Labrador came in second with 5.9 percent. Average wages increased year over year in seven other provinces as well.
In May, Canada's unemployment rate was 5.1 percent, a then-record low (it dropped further to 4.9 percent in June). According to the survey, the number of job openings in the health care and social services sectors has increased dramatically to 143,000, or 6.1 percent. This represents a significant increase over the vacancy rate in April, which was 5.4 percent, and a 20 percent increase over the rate in May 2021.
In May, both Nova Scotia and Manitoba had job vacancy rates of more than 10%, primarily in the accommodation and food services sector, which reported 161,000 vacancies. This is the thirteenth month in a row that accommodation and food services have the most vacancies.
In Canada, there are over one million unfilled positions. This is consistent with April data, but it is up by more than 300,000 vacant positions since May 2021. The high job vacancy rate, combined with the low unemployment rate indicated by the Labour Force Survey for May 2022, points to a growing labour shortage in several sectors and an increased need for immigration in Canada as its workforce retires. Canada is currently planning to invite the most permanent residents ever in 2022, with a target of over 430,000. The goal will be increased to over 450,000 by 2024.