Statistics Canada just released the May 2019 Labour Force Survey, reporting a sharp drop in the unemployment rate, which fell to 5.4 per cent as the number of people looking for work declined. This is the lowest national unemployment rate reported since comparable data became available in 1976.
Highlights in May
- The unemployment rate was down 0.3 percentage points to 5.4 per cent, as the number of people looking for work decreased sharply following little change over the previous three months.
- Employment held steady in May, following a strong increase in April.
- Compared with May 2018, employment grew by 453,000 or 2.4 per cent, reflecting gains in both full-time (+299,000) and part-time (+154,000) work.
- Over the same period, total hours worked were up 1.0 per cent.
- Employment in Ontario rose by 21,000 in May. The unemployment rate declined by 0.8 percentage points to 5.2 per cent, as fewer people searched for work. Year over year, employment was up by 222,000 or 3.1 per cent.
- Following little change in the previous five months, employment in British Columbia rose by 17,000 in May. The unemployment rate in the province declined by 0.3 percentage points to 4.3 per cent, as more people participated in the labour market. Compared with May 2018, employment in the province grew by 107,000 (+4.3 per cent).
- In Quebec, both the unemployment rate (at 5.0 per cent) and employment were little changed in May. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment increased 1.4 per cent.
- Following a notable increase in April, employment in Alberta was little changed in May and the unemployment rate held steady at 6.7 per cent. On a year-over-year basis, employment rose by 20,000 (+0.9 per cent).
What employers need to know
Summer is almost here — and that means many of your team members are getting ready to make good use of their vacation time. Robert Half research shows that more than half (56 per cent) of workers save their vacation time for the months of June, July and August. And most workers plan on taking 11 days off this summer, on average.
Of course, the business itself won’t be taking a vacation. Even during the summertime slowdown, work still needs to get done.
One way to keep everyday work and vital projects moving forward during the summer is to bring in seasonal employees. Temporary project professionals can cover for staffing gaps while your full-time employees are taking some well-deserved time off.
Meanwhile, you can step back, evaluate your firm’s hiring needs and make sure you have the right resources in place for the remainder of the year. You may even discover that the temporary employees you engage for the summer would make great full-time employees for your business all year-round.
What job seekers need to know
Many candidates believe they should put their job search on hold during the summer, thinking, “What’s the point? Nobody is hiring right now.” But the fact is, the summer months are far from sleepy when it comes to hiring: businesses of all types plan to recruit new employees in June, July and August.
Companies are staffing up to meet anticipated workload demands in the fourth quarter. Hiring new employees now gives them ample time to onboard and train these workers before fall. And for many businesses, the summer hiring push is on top of their ongoing efforts to fill other critical roles in the organization. In a hot hiring market, candidates with in-demand skills don’t usually have to wait long to find a job opportunity.
If you aren’t ready to pursue a full-time job this summer, consider working as a seasonal employee. It can help you build up your resume — and expand your professional network. Interim positions often lead to full-time opportunities, as well. So, not only could you find a great summer job working as a temporary employee, but also, a potential path to a new career.