Canadian labor market hopes hang in May, for the second month in a row, total employment in Canada slumped instead of moving forward, denting hopes for an improvement in the labor market. The latest monthly drop in total jobs was -68,000, following the April setback of -207,000 jobs. The country’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rates worsened slightly to 8.2% from 8.1% in the previous month. The unseasonally adjusted U rate (NSA) held steady at 7.1%. Canada’s job recovery rate, versus the massive loss of employment between February and April of last year, has remained close to 80%, the level it has been oscillating for the past several months. At least, for Canadians, there is some solace to be found in their jobs with a payback rate, 80.9%, better than America’s, 65.9%. The Canadian construction sector in the last month lost -15,000 jobs, but the employment level rose nicely, +15.9% yoy. (For comparison, total employment nationwide +12.9% yoy.) Moreover, construction job losses were less than half the decline (-36,000) recorded by the manufacturing sector. Canadian Employment in Manufacturing Currently (i.e. as of May 2021) +12.1% per annum. However, manufacturing has a better job return rate than construction, 90.9% to 82.9%. The recent weakness in reemployment isn’t helping workers maintain the kinds of big compensation increases they were sinking into last year. For all employees, as shown in Table 3, both average weekly (-2.3%) and average hourly earnings (-1.6%) are off on an annual basis. In May, average weekly earnings for part-time work recorded the largest decline, at -8.1% year over year. Graph 1: Canada: Total Employment Change per month Last data point for May 2021. Data sources: Household Survey, Statistics Canada. Diagram: ConstructConnect. Table 1: Watching the Canadian Employment Recovery – May 2021 Data source: Statistics Canada. Table: ConstructConnect. Table 2: US and Canadian Job Markets – May 2021 SA seasonally adjusted / NSA not seasonally adjusted. US employment data is from the “Salaries Survey” / Canadian employment data is from the “Home Survey”. The Canadian unemployment rate from the NSA “R3” is adjusted to US concepts (i.e. it adopts a US equivalent methodology). Data sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Statistics Canada. Table: ConstructConnect. Table 3: Canadian Workforce Earnings for the Year, May 2021 based on “current” non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) dollar data. “Current” means that there has been no downsizing to remove the effects of inflation. Data source: Table 11, Statistics Canada Labor Force Survey. Table: ConstructConnect. Chart 2: Manufacturing vs. Construction Employment in Canada Latest data points are for May 2021 Data source: Statistics Canada.Chart: ConstructConnect. Chart 3: Canada Construction Employment vs. Manufacturing Last data point for May 2021 Data source: Statistics Canada.Chart: ConstructConnect. The workplace in British Columbia is the leader among the provinces In regional labor markets, British Columbia is the leader. Only on the West Coast is the unemployment rate (7.0%) below the national figure (8.2%) and the annual job rate (+15.1%) greater than Canada’s progress (+12.9%). British Columbia’s share of the national job increase, year on year, at 16.2%, is higher than its share of the country’s total population, 13.5%. For Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta, their share of nationwide jobs nationwide aligns year-on-year with their population representation: Ontario, 38.8% share of the population and 39.1% share for Canada-wide nominal jobs, year/y increase; Quebec 22.5% and 21.5%; and Alberta 11.7% and 12.4%. Table 4: Canadian Regional Labor Markets – May 2021 Data source (seasonally adjusted figures): Statistics Canada. Table: ConstructConnect. Graph 4: Canadian Regional Labor Markets – May 2021 Data source: Statistics Canada Graph: ConstructConnect.