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Employment Up in Most Metropolitan Areas Compared With 2018

Employment Up in Most Metropolitan Areas Compared With 2018

Canada’s six largest cities accounted for 65 per cent of the country’s net year-over-year job creation.

Ottawa, May 13, 2019—Following Statistics Canada’s April job numbers announcement, The Conference Board of Canada offers new insights on Canada’s labour market: 

The data paint a positive story for most census metropolitan areas (CMA), with employment increasing on a year-over-year basis in 28 of 33 of them, including in the six largest ones, led by Edmonton and Vancouver. Although Ottawa registered the weakest gain among the Big Six, part-time job losses masked healthy gains in full-time work.

—Constantinos Bougas, Senior Economist, The Conference Board of Canada


  • On a year-over-year basis, the number of people employed grew in 28 of 33 Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs), with gains ranging from 0.5 per cent in Sherbrooke, Quebec, to 11.8 per cent in Saint John, New Brunswick.
  • Among the 28 CMAs that posted job gains, 18 experienced employment growth above the 2.0 per cent national average.
  • Three out of the five CMAs that posted job losses were in Ontario. Victoria, B.C., and Saguenay, Quebec, were the two others.
  • Among Canada’s three largest metropolitan areas, Vancouver fared the best in terms of year-over-year employment growth. Employment increased by 4.0 per cent compared with April 2018, with the addition of 56,300 net new jobs, almost evenly divided between full-time (29,900) and part-time (26,400) positions.
  • At the same time, employment in Toronto was up 103,400, or 3.1 per cent, with gains in both full-time (60,700) and part-time (42,700) work.
  • Montréal lagged behind, with employment gains of 1.0 per cent, most of which were in part-time positions.
  • Most metropolitan areas in resource-rich provinces posted job gains above the national average. St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, led the way, with employment gains of 6.9 per cent, while Regina posted the weakest gain, at 1.9 per cent.
  • As of April, the unemployment rate had declined in about half of the metropolitan areas compared with last December. The unemployment rate is currently the highest in St. John’s at 7.9 per cent, while Victoria, Québec City, and Sherbrooke all boast unemployment rates below 3.5 per cent.

Content Attribution: 

Constantinos Bougas, Senior Economist 

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