Canadian Unemployment Levels Rise Everywhere But The Maritimes

Canadian unemployment made a big increase, after spending some time near generational lows. Statistics Canada (Stat Can) data shows the seasonally adjusted rate of unemployment climbed in November. While just a single monthly increase, it was large enough to put the rate of unemployment back over a year.

Canadian Unemployment Rises To Highest Level In Over A Year

Canadian unemployment made a substantial, and largely unexpected, increase last month. The unemployment rate hit 5.9% seasonally adjusted for November, up 0.4 points from the month before. That brings the rate of unemployment to the highest level since August 2018, a little over a year ago. The rate isn’t very high, but that’s a substantial monthly increase. For context, every 0.5 point increase from a 12-month low has been known to kickoff a recession in the US. The rate is low, but let’s not kid ourselves – this is a concern.

Canadian Rate of Unemployment

The seasonally adjusted rate of unemployment in Canada.

Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling.

Only Atlantic Provinces Are Seeing Unemployment Drop

There were a few provinces that are seeing unemployment decline – all in the Maritimes. PEI made the biggest decline with an unemployment rate of 8% in November, down 0.4 points from the month before. Nova Scotia followed with unemployment dropping to 7.8%, down 0.2 points from the month before. New Brunswick came in third with a rate of 8%, down 0.1 points from the month before. Note, the only markets that saw declines also have some of the highest unemployment in Canada.

Canadian Rate of Unemployment By Province

The seasonally adjusted rate of unemployment in Canadian provinces.

Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling.

The Rest of Canada Is Seeing Unemployment Rise

Everywhere East of the maritimes is seeing unemployment rise, some provinces from lows. Saskatchewan made the biggest jump to 5.8% in November, up 0.7 points from a month before. Quebec follows with a rate of 5.6%, up 0.6 points from a month before. Alberta is in third with unemployment at 7.2%, up 0.5 points from a month before.

Canadian Rate of Unemployment Change

The change in points, for the seasonally adjusted rate of unemployment in Canadian provinces.

Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling.

Ontario and British Columbia weren’t on either side of the extremes, but both made an increase. Ontario’s unemployment rate reached 5.6% in November, up 0.3 points from a month before. B.C.’s unemployment rate hit 5.0%, up 0.3 points from a month before. Both regions are just off of all-time lows.

Canadian unemployment is rising, but it’s too early to tell if it means anything. The rise is just a single increase for the country, but it’s also a very large one. The issue here is unemployment rising isn’t typically a slow moving trend. Once the trend of unemployment rising begins, it happens very quickly, and it’s hard to stop.

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  • Ethan Wu 10 months ago

    Consider this. Unemployment didn’t rise until November in 2008, at which point it jumped 0.4 points. The next month, it jumped again, and the recession kicked off in the first quarter of 2009. Canada always has wonky-recession points because of immigration, but if you’re on the receiving end of it, you know it’s happening.

  • Quan 10 months ago

    “Metro Vancouver home values plunge”

    No more HELOCs to binge on anymore either. *cue popcorn gif*

  • vnm 10 months ago

    Interesting that this is despite the U.S. still being pumped up by the Trump $1.5 trillion tax giveaway, and the fed interest rate cuts and capital injections, etc.
    Virtually unprecedented, at least in modern history. If this is happening now, heaven knows what the one-two punch impact will be when the U.S. economy turns.

  • Holton 10 months ago

    The Canadian government is irresponsible, it simply allows housing price to sky rocket without doing anything. Toronto have the biggest real estate bubble in the world right now. They should tax all residential real estate owned by foreigners and any none primary residential real estate. No incorporated entity shall hold residential real estate unless given a license.

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