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October 2022 Labour Force Survey: An impressive and unexpected rebound for Canada’s labour market

October 2022 Labour Force Survey: An impressive and unexpected rebound for Canada’s labour market

Our Chief Economist, Stephen Tapp, analyzes the Labour Force Survey results for October 2022, which shows demonstrated significant resilience in Canada’s labour market.

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Stephen Tapp

Today’s data demonstrated significant resilience in Canada’s labour market. After four months of poor labour market performance, we had a very impressive headline gain of 108,000 net new jobs. This gain was broad-based across sectors and regions, and importantly, was led by full-time, private-sector positions for core-aged workers. Hours worked rebounded. Wage growth picked up to 5.6% year-over-year and will have the Bank of Canada watching closely to see if there will be further increases ahead.

Stephen Tapp, Chief Economist, Canadian Chamber of Commerce


  • Canadian employment rose by a surprising 108,000 jobs in October (+0.6%, blowing away market expectation of only +5k jobs). This month’s gains recouped previous job losses from May to September.
  • Total hours worked rebounded, increasing by 0.7% to offset the 0.6% drop in September, and is now up 2.2% year-over-year.
  • Despite the large job gains on the month, the unemployment rate held steady at 5.2%, as the labour force rose by a similar amount (+110k) with more people looking for work.
  • Private-sector employment (+74k) finally picked up, for the first time since March 2022, which is welcome news. Full-time jobs rose (+119k), they are now up over 3% year-over-year, while part-time employment is roughly flat.
  • Job gains occurred across most sectors, including construction (25k), manufacturing (24k), accommodation and food services (18k), as well as professional and other services. The only areas of weakness on the month were retail and wholesale trade (-20k) and natural resources (-7k).
  • With employers looking to fill almost one million job vacancies, and inflation still near generational highs, wage growth was 5.6% year-over-year, which remains above 5% for the fifth straight month.
  • Newcomers to Canada are succeeding in finding jobs in a hot labour market. Of those admitted to this country within the last five years, the employment rate is 70.7%, up 5.6 percentage points from October 2019.
  • Provincial employment increased broadly across all provinces (exceeding the margin of error for a majority, six of 10). Central Canada drove the gains, with Ontario (+43k) and Quebec (+28k) leading the way.
  • In October, more than 1.7 million Canadians had hybrid work arrangements.


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