Canada’s Unemployment Rate and Economy

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Canadian Unemployment Rate and the Economy

 Many people are trying to move to Canada because of the promise of the abundance of jobs and a better way of life. However, one cannot make this move if one does not understand what is going on in the Canadian economy or the level of unemployment.

These are aspects that you need to take into account when looking to immigrate to Canada as they will affect your chance of finding a job. The industry you choose to work in may also be impacted by outside factors.

Canadian Unemployment Rate

The Canadian unemployment rate increased to 7.1% in November of 2015. The unemployment rate in the month of October was sitting at 7%, which was above market expectations. What you need to know is that the unemployment rate in Canada is measured by the number of people that are actively looking for jobs.


In November 2015, the unemployment rate in the age group of 15-24 declined but other age demographics remained unchanged.

Something else that you need to keep in mind when looking to immigrate to Canada is which provinces are affected the most by unemployment. The majority of the oil and gas industries are situated in Alberta and this province has therefore seen the most job losses. The reason for this is the drop in the price of oil and gas around the world.

Unemployment also increased in Manitoba, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. The other provinces in Canada remained virtually unchanged.

As with most countries, different work sectors will be impacted differently. In Canada, there were fewer people employed in the administration sector; wholesale and retail; information, culture and recreation; as well as finance, insurance, real estate and leasing. More people were employed in the professional, scientific, technical services, manufacturing, construction and agricultural sectors.

The number of employees decreased in both the public and private sectors in November. However, the number of self-employed people increased. Canada’s labour market performed worse than expected in November 2015, shedding 36 000 jobs taking the unemployment rate to 7.1%. Economists were expecting a milder decrease of 10 000.

The country lost a total of 26 000 paid jobs and people began calling themselves self-employed, but economists seem to think that these people are actually unemployed.

Hiring was up by 17 000 in the manufacturing sector, which was the first gain since May. During the election period, the Liberals accused the Conservative party of mismanaging the country’s economy. Many people lost jobs at the end of the election campaigns as well. The plunge in oil prices also contributed to the loss of jobs in that sector and province.


Over the past year employment looked like this:

  • Full-time employment increased by 1.4%
  • Part-time employment decreased by 1.2%
  • Self-employment rose by 2.5%


The Oil and Gas Industry


In 2008 a barrel of oil was trading at $145 a barrel and it has dropped to only $32 a barrel. The Canadian oil industry struggled to recover from this knock and it was just finding its feet when once again oil prices fell drastically.

The Americans have now started producing their own oil through fracking so they are not as reliant on the Middle Eastern countries for oil. This means that they have also been able to control the price of oil and force it to drop, thus causing the price of Canadian oil to drop too.


The energy industry laid off thousands of people due to the drop in oil prices. The natural resources sector only lost 2 600 jobs while Alberta, which is home to the big oil companies created 12 000 jobs September 2015. British Columbia has created another 12 000 jobs while Ontario lost 34 000.

Note that there are still job sectors in Canada that have a high demand for people; agriculture and construction being two of the main sectors.


If you are thinking of immigrating to Canada, think of the province which would best suit you and the work that you are looking to do and make sure that the skills you offer are needed in that province.

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