Canada lost 88,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate rose to 5.9 per cent (+0.1 percentage points), according to the most recent Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey Report.
Highlights in January
- On a year-over-year basis, employment grew by 289,000, or 1.6 per cent. Gains were driven by increases in full-time work (+414,000, or +2.8 per cent), while there were fewer people working part time (-125,000 or -3.5 per cent). Over the same period, total hours worked rose by 2.8 per cent.
- Adjusted to U.S. concepts, the unemployment rate in Canada was 4.9 per cent in January, compared with 4.1 per cent in the United States. The unemployment rate for both countries trended downward in the 12 months to January.
Employment held steady in Alberta through January, while down in most other provinces:
- Overall employment in Alberta was little changed, as large declines in part-time employment were mostly offset by increases in full-time jobs. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province rose by 46,000 (+2.0 per cent).
- Ontario lost 51,000 jobs in January, however, the unemployment rate was 5.5 per cent, little changed as fewer people participated in the labour market.
- After three months of job growth, employment in Quebec fell by 17,000, driven by a decline in part-time work. The unemployment rate increased 0.4 percentage points to 5.4 per cent in January, as more people searched for work, however on a year-over-year basis, employment in Quebec rose by 71,000 (+1.7 per cent).
Hiring Trends and Career Tips
Thinking back to your last job offer, did you negotiate for a higher salary, or did you just accept the first number as the final number? If you’re like most Canadian workers recently surveyed by Robert Half, you didn’t ask for more – which can be a missed opportunity to not only expand your earning potential, but also to underscore what makes your skills valuable to the organization.
If you’re a hiring manager, you need to be ready with an offer that stands out to top candidates. Employers need to provide fair compensation to attract and retain good people, and compete with other companies vying for the same professional talent. Candidates with in-demand skills often have multiple options today, and firms that don’t offer compensation packages at – or, ideally, above – the market average, risk losing their top candidates and employees to other opportunities.
Whichever side of the job search you’re on, remember:
- Be prepared. It is important to have knowledge of prevailing salaries in an industry and certain geographic areas. Base requests or offers on strong supporting evidence, which you can find in industry publications such as the Salary Guide from Robert Half.
- There’s more to it than money. Look at the total compensation package, including benefits, paid time off and flexible scheduling options. There may be programs available, such as flexible scheduling or telecommuting options, that could be valued to job seekers. Companies can also highlight what makes their firm a great place to work, the career opportunities available there and the corporate culture, to draw top candidates.
- Be flexible. While there are some aspects of an offer that individuals may be less willing to negotiate on, or companies cannot offer, either side should be prepared to compromise on items that are less critical. Work together to uncover perks and benefits that might make up for other items, to establish a well-rounded package that both sides are happy with.