Canada’s Job Market Improves, With 4 Out 5 Jobs Coming From Self-Employment

Canada’s job market is improving, largely due to Canadians making their own jobs. Statistics Canada (Stat Can) numbers show the unemployment rate fell in September. The vast majority of the jobs gained were from self employment. Real estate is still growing slightly faster than general employment across Canada. BC is a notable exception, where the industry is growing more than 5x faster than the province’s general job market.

Canadian Unemployment Falls To 5.5%

Canadian employment is once again seeing numbers improve, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Employment increased by 54,000 jobs in September, bringing job gains to 456,000 (+2.4%) jobs over the past 12-months. The rise in jobs, dropped the rate of unemployment by 0.2 points, down to 5.5% in September. Most of the employment increase was due to rising self-employment. The vast majority of the increase in jobs was also concentrated in Ontario, and Nova Scotia.

Canadian Unemployment Rate

The percent of people actively in the Canadian workforce, that aren’t currently employed.

Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling.

Self-employment is the main driver of job creation across Canada. Self-employment saw a net increase of 42,000 people in September alone, representing 77.8% of total gains. The past 12-months saw a net increase of 106,300 self-employed individuals. That means 40% of the net increase in self-employment over the past year, was just last month. The numbers are a little odd, but that’s what they were.

Ontario represented the bulk of last month’s employment gains. The province saw a net increase of 41,000 jobs in September, or 76% of the total. The province’s unemployment rate fell 0.3 points to 5.3% in the month. Compared to the same month last year, employment grew by 253,000 jobs, about 3.5%. The province’s job market didn’t just provide most of September’s gains. More than half of jobs in the country were created in Ontario over the past year.

British Columbia is seeing gains to employment, but they’re lagging the rest of the general economy. The province shed 8,400 jobs in September, bringing the total net gain over the past 12-months to 33,400. That’s a 1.3% increase in jobs, less than half the rate of job growth in Ontario. Things are still improving, but at a much lower clip than they should be.

FIRE Employment Still Outpaces General Employment Growth

Finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) sectors took a hit last month, but still continues to overperform. The FIRE sector lost 3,000 jobs in September, compared to the month before. That brings FIRE sector jobs to 1,218,500 jobs at month end, up 2.7% from last year. Jobs were lost, but the industry’s growth still outpaces general employment.

Canadian FIRE Employment

The number of people estimated to work in Canada’s finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) industries.

Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling.

Ontario was a big leader on the way down in this sector, but still retained more than half of the annual growth. The province lost 4,600 FIRE sector jobs in September, but is still up 17,200 jobs from last year. The total number of people employed in the sector just hit 590,500, up 3.0% for the year. That is, Ontario’s FIRE sector is starting to lag general market growth.

British Columbia is back to seeing the FIRE sector, well… on fire. The province made saw a net increase of 3,100 FIRE sector jobs in September, bringing the total 12-month increase to 10,400. The number of jobs in the sector are now up 6.9% from the same month last year. In case you missed it, BC’s FIRE sector employment is growing at more than 5x the pace of the general job market.

The Canadian job market is improving, especially in the real estate sector. Growth in the FIRE sector is outpacing the general market, across Canada. Especially in BC, where it’s back to moving at a breakneck speed. One thing to watch out for is the self-employment number, which is sus as heck.

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  • Kathleen Thomson 2 years ago

    Do people believe the StatsCan random number generator still? 42,000 self employed people in a month? Seriously? In a month where there was only 50,000 jobs made?

    • kriswo 2 years ago

      Exactly!! These numbers make no sense whatsoever. I doubt it’s random, more likely that Stats Canada is afraid of what’s to come if the liberals get the boot, so they’re doing their best to help Trudeau during the election. I’d love to see the sources for this BS data they’re publishing.

  • CanadaSucks 2 years ago

    People calling themselves self employed are people that lost their high paying jobs and could not find a equivalent paying job. So they start their own business. It is not an indication of a strong economy. It is an indicator that the manufacturing sector and natural resources extraction sector are dying. It is an indicator that Canada is selling less and less outside its borders.

    • dude1 2 years ago

      Actually, it’s also common for unemployed people in need of credit to claim being “self-employed” on the credit application.

  • Mary Marrello 2 years ago

    Being the Real Estate business, this does not mean a whole lot considering Financial Institutions still have strict lending guidelines for self-employed.

  • CanadaSucks 2 years ago

    The increase of FIRE jobs is an indicator that the Canadian economy is powered by internal speculation not international trade. Basically it is the same money within Canada that is moving from one people to another people creating inflation and the illusion of growth. Real growth can only be achieved by selling something on the international market such as tar sand oil, wood lumber. This is another indicator that Canada is a failed nation and has to depend on internal growth to generate economical actives therefore leading to inflation.

  • SUMSKILLZ 2 years ago

    Is self employed code for gig economy? The roads seem increasingly clogged with Uber and Lyft vehicles….

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