Statistics Canada December 2018 Labour Force Survey Report

By on January 8, 2019 at 11:18am






    Unemployment Rate
  January '18 5.9%
  February '18 5.8%
  March '18 5.8%
  April '18 5.8%
  May '18 5.8%
  June '18 6.0%
  July '18 5.8%
  August '18 6.0%
  September '18 5.9%
  October '18 5.8%
  November '18 5.6%
  December '18 5.6%

*Source: Statistics Canada


**Source: Statistics Canada, Seasonally Adjusted, January 2018 – December 2018



57% of companies in Canada have updated their performance appraisals in the past two years.

Top changes include making the process shorter (47%) and increasing the frequency of feedback (36%).

Source: OfficeTeam survey of more than 300 HR managers in Canada.

© 2019 Robert Half.

Employment held steady in December and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.6 per cent, which continues to be the lowest rate since comparable data became available in 1976, according to the most recent Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey.


Highlights in December

  • Full-time employment continued on an upward trend in 2018, growing by 185,000 or 1.2 per cent, while part-time employment was little changed.
  • Over the 12 months to December, hours worked grew by 0.9 per cent.
  • Looking back at 2018, overall provincial employment gains were led by Ontario and Western Canada, while remaining relatively unchanged in Quebec. 

2018 in Review: Regional Highlights 

  • In Ontario, employment grew by 78,000 (+1.1 per cent) in 2018, all in full-time work. The unemployment rate in the province edged down 0.2 percentage points to 5.4 per cent, the second lowest rate among the provinces.
  • In 2018, employment in British Columbia increased by 44,000, almost entirely in full-time work. Employment grew by 1.8 per cent, double the national average, while the unemployment rate edged down to 4.4 per cent, still the lowest among the provinces.
  • Employment continued to grow in 2018 for Alberta, up 22,000 (+0.9 per cent). All the gains in 2018 were in full-time work and were spread across a number of industries. The unemployment rate in Alberta fell from 7.0 per cent at the end of 2017 to 6.4 per cent at the end of 2018.
  • Following robust growth in 2017, employment in Quebec was unchanged in 2018. With more people looking for work, the unemployment rate increased by 0.5 percentage points to 5.5 per cent at the end of 2018.

What employers need to know

Here’s an important question to consider now that the new year has arrived: How prepared is your company to compete for top talent in 2019? Yes, competition has been fierce for skilled talent — and it remains so. But there may be other factors affecting your firm’s hiring efforts.

Common challenges include: 

  • Failing to offer a compensation package that is competitive enough
  • Overlooking the importance of promoting the unique aspects of your organizational culture, which can often be a make-or-break factor in hiring
  • A hiring process that is too long and complicated
  • Job postings that are bland and boring — or overly specific (thus potentially deterring candidates who meet the core requirements from applying)

Many in-demand professionals are beginning to look for new jobs right now — energized by the start of a new year. Don’t miss this opportunity to show them why your company could be exactly what they’re searching for. You also may want to consider tapping a reputable staffing firm whose recruiting specialists can help you cover more ground and move fast to engage top candidates.

What job seekers need to know

The start of a new year is a time filled with promise. So, it’s not surprising that many professionals see January as an ideal month for launching a new job search. This can be a good time to enter the market, as many employers have fresh hiring budgets and new initiatives waiting to be staffed. 

However, despite the competition for skilled candidates, most businesses are still very selective when hiring. Ensuring that your job application materials clearly spell out the value you can bring to a potential employer can help you catch the attention of hiring managers. 

First, your resume must be up to date. It should reflect your most recent achievements and highlight your current skills and experience. And when applying for a position, take care to adjust the wording of your resume for that specific opening. Pull relevant phrases and keywords from the job posting so hiring managers can easily see you have the right qualifications. 

Take the same thoughtful approach with your cover letter, when you have the option to provide one. Many executives consider cover letters a valuable tool when evaluating job candidates. In short, a standout cover letter could be what prompts your target employer to look more closely at that resume you worked so hard to refine. Together, your cover letter and resume can do the hard work of earning you an interview — and an opportunity to win that new job you’re aiming for in 2019.

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