Ontario records lowest construction unemployment rate in three years: OCS

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Ontario’s construction employment increased during 2021, and the province recorded the lowest unemployment rate in three years, the Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS) says in a recent review of Statistics Canada data.

However, “looking at the month-over-month figures, construction employment in Ontario fell in December compared to November by about 14,000 workers, or, -2.5%,” OCS research director Katherine Jacobs observed in a Jan. 12 bulletin from joint employer/union funded agency.

The high-point for construction employment in Ontario in 2021 was 561,000 in August, while the low was 498,000 in February, she wrote.

“The construction industry in Ontario employed 534,000 workers on average in 2021, an increase of 3.7% percent compared to 2020 (or, +19,200 individuals),” Jacobs wrote. “Compared to 2019, the construction employment total was down by 6,000 workers (or, -1.1%). The construction labour force in Ontario grew by less than half of a percent (or, +1,800 individuals) in 2021 compared to 2020. This put the unemployment rate in Ontario’s construction industry at 4.8% in 2021 overall, down from 7.9% in 2020. The previous low was 4.4% in 2018.”

“The general unemployment rate for Ontario finally fell to a pre-pandemic level in December, down to 5.3%. This was the lowest unemployment rate recorded in Ontario since January 2020.”


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