Unemployment hasn’t been this low in over 40 years, having now hit 5.8% nationally. Ontario and BC lead Canada, with 5.4% and 5% unemployment respectively.
In hard hit Alberta, suffering from a collapse in oil prices, unemployment is at 6.7%. Unemployment is highest in Newfoundland at 15.4% and Prince Edward Island at 9.5%. The availability of jobs across the country is helping governments collect more tax revenue, is fuelling strong consumer consumption, and supporting sustained economic growth. Strong real estate demand is being fed by the robust labour market. In addition the strong jobs numbers are good news for the large number of new Canadians moving into the country.
But there is more to the low unemployment figures, many of the gains were made on the back of large numbers of part-time jobs even as full time job figures declined. Another important note is the increase in full time public sector jobs, reaching a very high 49,600. Average wage growth is improving above inflation but is cooling from previous strong trends. With inflation going up, the end result is more mixed. The figures are good for real estate and underpin the reality that the Canadian economy is in good shape. Times have not been this good in many decades, and consumers should use present stability to feather their nests and prepare for rainy days.