Stats Canada data indicates construction employment pullback in Ontario

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labour force survey

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey indicates that there has been a significant recent decline in Ontario’s construction employment and the overall totals in the past year, are at best, stagnant.

The agency in its June report says that 535,000 people were working at Ontario construction jobs in June, compared to 544,000 in May, a 9,000 decline. Overall, this represented a 1.7 per cent decline in the month. On a year-to-year basis, the overall employment has only increased by .3 per cent – an infinitesimal number.

Nationally, the data indicates the relatively stagnant construction employment levels are not confined to Ontario. There was a significant increase in April, but the rest of the year has been sluggish, at best – and Ontario’s numbers are largely the reason for the national totals not being so great.

If all provinces are considered, there was a loss of 7,400 jobs. A few provinces saw job growth, notably Quebec and Alberta, while others saw declines – though Ontario’s is the greatest.

Nationally, the labour force has declined by about .5 per cent in the past six months, and employment has declined five of the six months in 2019. The comparative year-to-year national rates also indicate a near flat growth, at a .4 per cent increase between June 2018 and June 2019.

Compared to the overall economy – and perhaps reflecting the construction employment drop – Ontario lost about 7,000 jobs in June, with a labour force of 7.438 million, representing a 0.1 per cent employment decline from May.

The Canadian economy as a whole also shed jobs in June, though a statistically insignificant number. Unemployment rose 0.1 per cent to reach 5.5 per cent. Year-over-year, Statistics Canada says the Canadian economy has added more than 400,000 jobs — enough for a 2.3 per cent gain.

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