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Special Report

Canada Employment
Research Brief

March 2023

Labour Market Continues to Show Resilience
in the Face of Elevated Interest Rates

Employment experiences sixth straight monthly gain. Canada’s economy added 21,800 jobs in February, beating the general consensus of 10,000. This gain was accompanied by a 42,000 increase in the labour force, which was a byproduct of historic immigration. Increasing labour force participation, however, was not enough to push the unemployment rate up, which remained at 5.0 per cent — a near historic low. While employment growth has slowed sharply from the 105,000 gain in December and the 150,000 jump in January, the 0.6 per cent month-over-month rise in hours worked indicates that the economy performed better than expected in February. This suggests the likely 0.3 per cent monthly rise in January GDP was followed by another small increase in February, meaning GDP growth should return to positive territory this quarter. 

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