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Labour Markets Healthy in Most Metropolitan Areas


The Conference Board of Canada

Labour Markets Healthy in Most Metropolitan Areas

Ottawa, August 12th, 2019—The Conference Board of Canada’s senior economist Constantinos Bougas offers the following insights on labour markets in Canada’s census metropolitan areas:

“The latest labour force survey release shows that, when compared to one year ago, job creation remains healthy in most Canadian metropolitan areas”, says Constantinos Bougas, Senior Economist for the Centre for Municipal Studies. “Employment increased in 27 of the 33 metropolitan areas on a year-over-year basis, including in the six largest ones, led by Calgary and Vancouver. Montreal registered the weakest job growth among the Big Six, at a meagre 0.1 per cent, with gains limited to part-time work. Overall, Canada’s six largest metropolitan areas accounted for 72.7 per cent of the country’s net year-over-year net job creation in July.”


  • On a year-over-year basis, the number of people employed grew in 27 of 33 Canadian census metropolitan areas (CMAs), with gains ranging from 200 net new jobs in Hamilton, Ontario to 119,900 net new jobs in Toronto, Ontario.
  • Among the 27 CMAs that posted job gains, 20 added jobs at a faster rate than the 2.2 per cent national average.
  • Among Canada’s three largest CMAs, Vancouver fared the best in terms of year-over-year employment growth. Employment in Vancouver grew by 6.5 per cent on a year-over-year basis, translating into the creation of 90,000 net new jobs, 53,680 of which were full-time.
  • Employment growth in Toronto was healthy, coming in at 3.6 per cent, resulting in the addition of 119,900 net new jobs, including 95,290 full-time jobs. Job creation was disappointing in Montreal, with employment growing by a meagre 0.1 per cent since last July. Gains in Montreal were limited to part-time work.
  • The three metropolitan areas in oil rich provinces (Calgary and Edmonton in Alberta and St. John’s in Newfoundland and Labrador) added jobs on a year-over-year basis. Job growth was strongest in Calgary, clocking in at 6.6 per cent (54,400 net new jobs), while it was weakest in Edmonton, coming in at 0.9 per cent (7,300 net new jobs).
  • London, Ontario has seen the most job losses since July of last year, with employment declining by 5.8 per cent. The other five CMAs to shed jobs on a year-over-year basis were Thunder Bay, St-Catharines-Niagara, Victoria, Oshawa, and Trois-Rivières.
  • As of July, the unemployment rate was lower in 15 metropolitan areas compared to last December. St John’s had the highest unemployment rate among metropolitan areas at 7.7 per cent, while Quebec City had the lowest at 2.3 per cent.



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The Conference Board of Canada
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