Labour Force Survey, April 2023
Employment rose by 41,000 (+0.2%) in April, all in part-time work.
The unemployment rate was 5.0% in April, unchanged since December 2022.
Employment increased by 18,000 (+0.3%) among core-aged men (25 to 54 years old) and by 16,000 (+0.7%) among men aged 55 and older. Employment held steady for core-aged and older women. There was little change in female and male youth employment in the month.
Employment increased in wholesale and retail trade (+24,000; +0.8%); transportation and warehousing (+17,000; +1.6%); information, culture and recreation (+16,000; +1.9%); as well as in educational services (+15,000; +1.0%). Employment decreased in business, building and other support services (-14,000; -1.9%).
Employment rose in Ontario (+33,000; +0.4%) and Prince Edward Island (+2,200; +2.5%) in April, while it declined in Manitoba (-4,000; -0.6%). There was little change in the other provinces.
On a year-over-year basis, average hourly wages rose 5.2% (+$1.66 to $33.38) in April (not seasonally adjusted).
Employment gain in April driven by part-time work
Employment rose by 41,000 (+0.2%) in April. Since February, monthly employment growth has averaged 33,000, following cumulative increases of 219,000 in December 2022 and January 2023. The employment rate—the share of the population aged 15 and older who are employed—held steady at 62.4% for the third consecutive month in April.
Part-time employment increased by 48,000 (+1.3%) in April, while full-time employment held steady. This was the first notable increase in part-time work since October 2022. In April 2023, 18.1% of those employed were working part time, down slightly from a year earlier (18.7%). Of those who worked part-time, 15.2% did so involuntarily, meaning they would have preferred a full-time position. This rate was virtually unchanged from April 2022 (15.3%) (not seasonally adjusted).
Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of private sector employees rose by 299,000 (+2.3%) in April 2023, while there were 81,000 (+2.0%) more people working in the public sector. Self-employment was virtually unchanged on a year-over-year basis in April and remained below its pre-COVID-19 pandemic level of February 2020 (-135,000; -4.8%).
Employment increases among core-aged and older men
Employment for core-aged men (25 to 54 years old) rose by 18,000 (+0.3%) in April, following two months of little change. The employment gain among core-aged men in April was all in part-time work. Among core-aged women, employment varied little for the third consecutive month.
In the 12 months to April, employment grew faster among core-aged women (+133,000; +2.2%) than among core-aged men (+97,000; +1.5%). This was associated with a decrease in the employment rate for men (-0.6 percentage points to 87.8% in the 12 months to April), and little change in the employment rate for women, which stood at 81.7% in April.
Employment for men aged 55 and older rose by 16,000 (+0.7%) in April, while it held steady for women in the same age group. Like their core-age counterparts, net employment growth in the 12 months to April was greater for women aged 55 and older (+64,000; +3.3%) than for men in that age range (+57,000; +2.4%). The employment rate for women aged 55 and older was up 0.5 percentage points to 30.9% over the same period, while it was little changed at 40.6% for men.
Employment held steady in April for both young men and women aged 15 to 24. Compared with 12 months earlier, male youth employment was up by 40,000 (+3.0%) in April, while female youth employment varied little. Despite the employment gain among young men, the youth employment rate in April remained higher among women (60.6%) than among men (58.6%).
Employment rises in four industries, led by wholesale and retail trade
Employment in wholesale and retail trade increased by 24,000 (+0.8%) in April, following little change in February and March and a rise of 59,000 in January. Employment gains in the industry in 2023 have partially offset a net decline of 145,000 from May to December 2022.
The number of people working in transportation and warehousing rose by 17,000 (+1.6%) in April, building on a notable increase in March (+41,000; +4.2%). Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the industry was up by 47,000 (+4.7%) in April.
Following three months of little change, employment in information, culture and recreation rose by 16,000 (+1.9%) in April 2023. Compared with the recent low in October 2022, employment in the industry was up by 58,000 (+7.3%) in April 2023.
In educational services, employment increased by 15,000 (+1.0%) in April, following two months of little change. Employment in the industry has trended up since August 2022, with cumulative gains over the period totalling 71,000.
There were fewer people working in business, building and other support services (-14,000; -1.9%) in April 2023, partially offsetting an increase in March (+31,000; +4.4%). Employment in this industry—which includes activities that support the day-to-day operations of organizations, ranging from waste management to administrative services—was up by 32,000 (+4.7%) compared with April 2022.
Employment in health care and social assistance held steady for a second consecutive month in April 2023. Health care and social assistance continued to be the second-largest industry in terms of employment in April, after wholesale and retail trade.
Employment in professional, scientific and technical services held steady in April for the fourth consecutive month. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the industry was up 3.8% (+68,000), largely reflecting increases in the spring and fall of 2022.
Unemployment rate holds at 5% for fifth consecutive month
The unemployment rate was 5.0% in April, unchanged since December 2022. This remained near the record low of 4.9% observed in June and July 2022. Compared with April 2022, the unemployment rate was down 0.3 percentage points in April 2023.
The number of unemployed persons stood at 1.1 million in April, and the majority had been unemployed for 13 weeks or less (64.3%). The proportion who had been unemployed for 27 weeks or more—the long-term unemployed—was 15.4%, down from 19.5% a year earlier, and in line with the pre-pandemic proportion of 15.3% in February 2020.
The unemployment rate for people aged 25 to 54 held steady at 4.3% in April. For core-aged men, the unemployment rate edged up to 4.5% in the month. In the 12 months to April, the unemployment rate among core-aged men was up 0.4 percentage points, as growth in the labour force outpaced growth in employment. For core-aged women, the unemployment rate was 4.2% in April, little changed in the month and down 0.3 percentage points on a year-over-year basis.
Among women aged 55 and older, the unemployment rate fell 0.5 percentage points to 3.5% in April. Among their male counterparts, the unemployment rate was 4.3% in April, little changed from a month earlier. On a year-over-year basis, the unemployment rate fell for women aged 55 and older (-1.3 percentage points) and for men aged 55 and older (-1.1 percentage points).
For youth, the unemployment rate was 9.6% in April, unchanged in the month and on a year-over-year basis.
Overall, the participation rate—the proportion of the population who is employed or unemployed—held steady at 65.6% in April.
Employment on an upward trend in Ontario and Prince Edward Island
Employment rose in Ontario and Prince Edward Island in April, while it declined in Manitoba. There was little change in the other provinces. For further information on key province and industry level labour market indicators, see "Labour Force Survey in brief: Interactive app."
In Ontario, employment rose by 33,000 (+0.4%) in April, bringing cumulative gains for the province since September 2022 to 205,000 (+2.7%). Full-time employment increased by 122,000 (+1.9%) over the period and part-time work was up 82,000 (+6.2%). The unemployment rate in the province declined 0.2 percentage points to 4.9% in April 2023, the lowest since October 1989. In the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.5% in April. Among the other CMAs in the province, the unemployment rate ranged from 3.3% in Guelph to 6.7% in Windsor (three-month moving averages).
In Prince Edward Island, employment grew by 2,200 (+2.5%) in April, the fourth increase in the past five months. The unemployment rate was little changed at 7.1% and the participation rate increased 1.6 percentage points to 67.2%.
Employment in Manitoba fell by 4,000 (-0.6%) in April, following two consecutive monthly gains. The unemployment rate was little changed at 4.8%. In the Winnipeg CMA, employment held steady, while the unemployment rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 4.8% as more people searched for work (three-month moving averages).
In Quebec, employment was little changed for the third consecutive month in April, and the unemployment rate (4.1%) remained just above the record low of 3.9% reached in January 2023 and November 2022. In the CMA of Montréal, employment varied little in April 2023, and the unemployment rate was 4.6%. The unemployment rate in the CMA of Québec remained at 1.7% in April and continued to be the lowest of all CMAs in Canada (three-month moving averages).
Labour force characteristics by province, age group and sex, seasonally adjusted (Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick)
Labour force characteristics by province, age group and sex, seasonally adjusted (Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia)
Labour force characteristics by census metropolitan area, three-month moving average, seasonally adjusted
Labour force characteristics by Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver census metropolitan areas, monthly, seasonally adjusted
Labour force characteristics by province and economic region, three-month moving average ending in April 2022 and April 2023, unadjusted for seasonality
Average usual hours and wages of employees by selected characteristics, unadjusted for seasonality
Regional unemployment rates used by the Employment Insurance program,, three-month moving average, seasonally adjusted
Sustainable Development Goals
On January 1, 2016, the world officially began implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—the United Nations' transformative plan of action that addresses urgent global challenges over the next 15 years. The plan is based on 17 specific sustainable development goals.
The Labour Force Survey is an example of how Statistics Canada supports the reporting on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. This release will be used in helping to measure the following goals:
Note to readers
The Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for April are for the week of April 9 to 15, 2023.
On April 5, a severe ice storm downed power lines resulting in power outages in eastern Ontario and much of Quebec. Also taking place during the month was a strike involving federal public servants that began on April 19. Both events occurred outside of the LFS reference week.
The LFS estimates are based on a sample and are therefore subject to sampling variability. As a result, monthly estimates will show more variability than trends observed over longer periods. For more information, see "Interpreting Monthly Changes in Employment from the Labour Force Survey."
This analysis focuses on differences between estimates that are statistically significant at the 68% confidence level.
LFS estimates at the Canada level do not include the territories.
The LFS estimates are the first in a series of labour market indicators released by Statistics Canada, which includes indicators from programs such as the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH); Employment Insurance Statistics; and the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey. For more information on the conceptual differences between employment measures from the LFS and those from the SEPH, refer to section 8 of the Guide to the Labour Force Survey (). 71-543-G
Face-to-face personal interviewing resumed in November 2022. Telephone interviews continued to be conducted by interviewers working from their homes rather than Statistics Canada's call centres, as they have since March 2020. More than 45,000 interviews were completed in April 2023 and in-depth data quality evaluations conducted each month confirm that the LFS continues to produce an accurate portrait of Canada's labour market.
The employment rate is the number of employed people as a percentage of the population aged 15 and older. The rate for a particular group (for example, youths aged 15 to 24) is the number employed in that group as a percentage of the population for that group.
The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed people as a percentage of the labour force (employed and unemployed).
The participation rate is the number of employed and unemployed people as a percentage of the population aged 15 and older.
Full-time employment consists of persons who usually work 30 hours or more per week at their main or only job.
Part-time employment consists of persons who usually work less than 30 hours per week at their main or only job.
Total hours worked refers to the number of hours actually worked at the main job by the respondent during the reference week, including paid and unpaid hours. These hours reflect temporary decreases or increases in work hours (for example, hours lost due to illness, vacation, holidays or weather; or more hours worked due to overtime).
In general, month-to-month or year-to-year changes in the number of people employed in an age group reflect the net effect of two factors: (1) the number of people who changed employment status between reference periods, and (2) the number of employed people who entered or left the age group (including through aging, death or migration) between reference periods.
Information on racialized groups
A new annual data table (14-10-0440-01) presenting labour force characteristics of racialized groups is now available on the Statistics Canada website.
Data on "racialized groups" are derived from the "visible minority" variable. "Visible minority" refers to whether or not a person belongs to one of the visible minority groups defined by the Employment Equity Act. The Employment Equity Act defines visible minorities as "persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour." The visible minority population consists mainly of the following groups: South Asian, Chinese, Black, Filipino, Latin American, Arab, Southeast Asian, West Asian, Korean and Japanese.
Unless otherwise stated, this release presents seasonally adjusted estimates, which facilitate comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.
The next release of the LFS will be on June 9, 2023. May 2023 data will reflect labour market conditions during the week of May 14 to 20, 2023.
More information about the concepts and use of the Labour Force Survey is available online in the Guide to the Labour Force Survey (71-543-G).
The product "Labour Force Survey in brief: Interactive app" (14200001) is also available. This interactive visualization application provides seasonally adjusted estimates by province, sex, age group and industry.
The product "Labour Market Indicators, by province and census metropolitan area, seasonally adjusted" (71-607-X) is also available. This interactive dashboard provides customizable access to key labour market indicators.
The product "Labour Market Indicators, by province, territory and economic region, unadjusted for seasonality" (71-607-X) is also available. This dynamic web application provides access to labour market indicators for Canada, provinces, territories and economic regions.
The product Labour Force Survey: Public Use Microdata File (71M0001X) is also available. This public use microdata file contains non-aggregated data for a wide variety of variables collected from the Labour Force Survey. The data have been modified to ensure that no individual or business is directly or indirectly identified. This product is for users who prefer to do their own analysis by focusing on specific subgroups in the population or by cross-classifying variables that are not in our catalogued products.
For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Media Relations (email@example.com).