Labour market continues to ease: StatsCan

By James Langton | October 26, 2023 | Last updated on October 26, 2023
1 min read
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Signs of labour market pressure easing continued in August, as payroll employment retreated, and job vacancies continued to decline, according to new data from Statistics Canada.

The number of payroll workers declined by 46,800 in the month, down 0.3%, led by a drop in the construction sector.

Payroll employment in construction declined by 22,300 in August, marking the first drop since March, StatsCan said.

The retail trade sector also saw payrolls contract in August, and the manufacturing sector recorded its second straight month of declines.

Alongside the drop in payrolls, the number of vacant jobs continued trending down, sliding from 697,900 in July to 682,400 in August, the national statistical agency said. 

The manufacturing sector led the decline in openings, StatsCan noted, with the number of unfilled positions falling to its lowest level since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.

Year-to-date, the number of vacancies has dropped by 21.0%, and the number of unfilled positions has contracted in 17 out of 20 sectors, StatsCan said.

The job vacancy rate, which represents the number of open jobs as a share of total labour demand, was 3.8% in August, down a tick from July, and down from 4.8% at the start of the year.

StatsCan reported that average weekly earnings were largely unchanged in August.

On an annual basis, average weekly earnings were up 4.2%.

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James Langton

James is a senior reporter for and its sister publication, Investment Executive. He has been reporting on regulation, securities law, industry news and more since 1994.