Canada Added 58k Workers But Lost 2k Jobs Last Month

The only growth more impressive than Canada’s population is its surging unemployment. Statistics Canada (Stat Can) data shows the economy stumbled in March. It was such a minor decline, it wouldn’t be worth noting if not for the population growth. The country only lost a couple thousand jobs, but managed to add tens of thousands of unemployed people to its labor force.  

Canada Added 26 Workers For Every Job It Lost Last Month

Canada’s rapid population boom of prime aged workers helped its labor force expand rapidly. The country added 57.7k workers for a grand total of 21.72 million in March. Unfortunately the economy also lost 2.2k jobs over that same month. More bluntly put, 1 job was lost for every 26 workers added in March—a very unusual combination. 

The working population growing much faster than job creation has become a trend. Over the past 12 months, the country added 571.3k workers but only 324.4k jobs. That’s a shortfall of 246.9k jobs, pushing the number of unemployed people in Canada to 1.32 million.

Unemployment Rate Soars As Canada Struggles To Create Jobs

Speaking of unemployed people, the rate has now climbed very sharply since its record low. The unemployment rate rose 0.3 points to 6.1% in March, about 1 point higher than last year. It’s now at the highest level since January 2022, and the rate is now higher than pre-2020. 

Canada Is Adding A Lot More Workers Than Jobs

Canadian seasonally adjusted unemployment rate.

Source: Statistics Canada. 

For context, a 0.5 point increase is typically enough to trigger a recession—it rose more than half that in a single month. 

The latest data highlights how Canada has one of the most unusual economies in recent history. Typically population growth and an economic boom go hand-in-hand. People move to a region due to the robust opportunities, contributing to demand, and thus creating more jobs. That’s not what’s happening. 

Instead, people are attracted to a stagnant economy in such a large volume, it has an inflationary impact on shelter. An impact that’s so great, shelter costs are eroding general output on a per capita basis. 

9 Comments

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  • Mark Bayly 1 month ago

    Who votes for Trudeau . He is a non stop disaster.

    • Anthony 1 month ago

      Seriously thats not even to say the conservatives will be better but these people seriously need some help. Only benefit are those that benefited from asset price appreciation.

  • Santa Claus 1 month ago

    They were expecting 24,000 job gains, instead 2,000 loss. That’s > 100% failure by Canada so called expert economists.
    Experts are not experts.

  • Ron Bruce 1 month ago

    I’m curious to know what jobs show growth. Don’t include workers in the public sector, only jobs in the private sector. If the jobs are primarily in construction, most workers limp home after age 40 or are injured or disabled. Developers treat these workers as expendables.

  • Steven Adams 1 month ago

    Sounds like it’s time to dial back on immigration until equilibrium is achieved. I personally have no idea what the Canadian government is trying to achieve with their current policies.

  • Martyn 1 month ago

    This guarantees massive increases in housing prices and huge financial wins for homeowners and realtors.

    You cannot hold Canada down. Can’t stop. Won’t stop.

  • Joel 1 month ago

    But…but… they said there is a “labour shortage.” I guess we need to further increase immigration? Surely flooding the labour market to depress wages esp at the low end will make everything alright.

  • Andrew Baldwin 1 month ago

    Great analysis by Daniel. The poor Canadian jobs report looks all the worse if one compares it with its much stronger American counterpart. The supplementary employment rate series R3, comparable to the American series, went from 5.2% in February to 5.5% in March, while the US unemployment rate unadjusted for seasonal variation declined from 4.2% to 3.9%. This 1.6 percentage point gap between the two unemployment rates was the largest since May 2021. Similarly, the participation rate, which was unchanged at 65.3% for Canada, went from 62.5% to 62.7%. The US participation rate has been lower than its Canadian counterpart for a long time, but the gap between them now is a far cry from what it was as recently as April 2022, when the gap was 3.5 percentage points.
    The active population expanded by 3.3% in March at an annualized rate, up slightly from 3.1% in February. While the preliminary estimate for the February real GDP rate is very strong, enough to allow positive real GDP per capita growth if this is realized, it would require another strong preliminary estimate for March, one of at least 0.3%, to have positive real GDP per capita growth for the month. It is almost like watching a runner on a treadmill set at a punishing speed. He has to work very hard not to tumble off the back of the machine.

  • dan 1 month ago

    a race to homelessness LOL

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