Canada

Ontario Loses Over 5,000 Real Estate Jobs, BC Hits New All-Time High

Canada’s real estate sector is making a shift. Statistics Canada (Stat Can) data shows FIRE sector jobs made a small decline in June. The aggregate movement was small, but most of the gains are being made in smaller provinces. Larger provinces like Ontario and Quebec lost thousands of jobs in the sector last month.

FIRE Sector

The finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) sector is the industry of buying and selling homes. The industry booms when asset prices rise, and/or more interest payers are added – i.e. more credit is issued. It suffers when asset prices fall, or credit growth starts to slow down. The sector becomes more important as manufacturing jobs disappear. Yes, the business of warehousing people replaces the business of producing goods. Debt driven economies, such as Canada, are increasingly dependent on this sector.

Canada FIRE Employment Is Flat

Canadian FIRE sector employment is virtually flat from the month before. FIRE seasonally adjusted employment fell to 1.193 million jobs in June, down 0.02% from the month before. This was the first monthly decline for June since 2014. The decline works out to 200 jobs, so not nearly as bad as May – when 2,300 jobs were lost. June’s movement was small, but some provinces were luckier than others.

Canadian FIRE Sector Employment Change

The monthly change in seasonally adjusted FIRE sector jobs in June, across Canada.

Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling.

Ontario Lost Over 5,000 FIRE Sector Jobs In June

Ontario lost a substantial amount of FIRE sector employment last month. FIRE seasonally adjusted employment fell to 577,400 in June, down 0.98% from the month before. The decline works out to 5,700 FIRE sector jobs lost last month. This follows 1,300 jobs lost the month before, and was the largest June decline for the province since 2013.  Half of all FIRE sector employees work in Ontario.

Ontario FIRE Sector Employment Change

The monthly change in seasonally adjusted FIRE sector jobs in June, across Ontario.

Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling.

British Columbia FIRE Employment Hits All-Time High

Heading in the opposite direction is British Columbia, which reached a new record. FIRE seasonally adjusted employment increased to 162,000 in June, up a massive 4.99% from the month before. The increase is 7,700 jobs for the month, the biggest June increase ever. The new record high for FIRE sector employment in B.C. seems to defy logic. It’s the province with some of the largest declines in real estate sales in the country.

British Columbia FIRE Sector Employment Change

The monthly change in seasonally adjusted FIRE sector jobs in June, across British Columbia.

Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling.

Quebec Loses Over 5,000 FIRE Sector Jobs

Quebec was hit with a big loss to FIRE sector employment last month. FIRE seasonally adjusted employment fell to 239,600 jobs in June, down 2.12% from a month before. The decline is a loss of 5,200 jobs, the biggest drop for June since 2006. The sector reached peak employment in December 2017.

Quebec FIRE Sector Employment Change

The monthly change in seasonally adjusted FIRE sector jobs in June, across Quebec.

Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling.

Alberta Makes Largest June Increase Since 2012

Alberta made substantial gains in the FIRE sector last month. FIRE seasonally adjusted employment reached 105,800 jobs in June, up a 2.42% from the month before. The increase is 2,500 jobs added in the month, the largest June increase since 2012. Alberta’s all-time high for the sector was in 2009. That makes it one of the few provinces to not reach a new high in the past decade.

Alberta FIRE Sector Employment Change

The monthly change in seasonally adjusted FIRE sector jobs in June, across Alberta.

Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling.

The decline in FIRE sector employment was minimal across the country. However, breaking down the distribution a little shows an interesting trend. The country’s largest province by population are seeing a decline in FIRE employment. Whereas provinces with smaller populations are seeing an increase. The net change across Canada isn’t that large. But there’s a big chance there will be a regional impact.

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12 Comments

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  • Koos 4 months ago

    Ontario’s drop matches 2013. Can’t be that big of a deal, right?

  • Lucas Roy 4 months ago

    Alberta finally turning around after a 10 year dip. 💪

    • VanRE Bear 4 months ago

      Yeah, a reversal towards more non-productive investment isn’t what you want.

  • s2u 4 months ago

    FIRE doubling down their efforts in BC eh… everyone must not be working hard enough so we must triple the efforts.

    This will be fun to watch seeing as sales keep dropping, and the haircuts on the high end keep getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger, while future profits keep disappearing.

    Let’s add some more overhead shall we? That will fix things for sure!

  • Thomas Berry 4 months ago

    I appreciate all the data that Better Dwelling shares with the reader. It’s helpful to have a source that is data first – especially in an industry as cloudy as real estate. However, I would love to have a bit more analysis of the data, as I find after reading articles I am left to wonder, “So, what does it all mean?”. Thank-you.

    • Ethan Wu 4 months ago

      There used to be a lot more analysis and explanations of what it meant, then the real estate trolls would fill the comment section. Now most of the analysis is behind the institutional paywall.

      Hopefully now that some of them have disappeared, BD will go back to publishing more detailed analysis for the general public again.

    • Ethan Wu 4 months ago

      To answer your question though, the decline in FIRE jobs means they aren’t being replenished as they complete jobs, or companies are downsizing. It’s typical end of cycle stuff.

      They can try to slash rates, but at this point, Over 1 in 5 GTA houses have moved in the past 5 years. It’s going to be extremely difficult to keep pushing the number of projects being built and financed higher.

      • Joseph 4 months ago

        Ethan, is this a strong indicator of end of cycle or just an indicator? The reason I ask:

        It all sort of made sense to me until I see BC making gains with the FIRE sector. Significant gains for the month. My 2 immediate thoughts on the gains are:

        ‘Do BC FIRE workers know something the rest of the provinces don’t? Ex, an upcoming influx of house purchasing money.’

        AND

        ‘Are BC FIRE sector workers trying to jumpstart things artificially?’.

        Am I looking at things correctly? Does the above make sense?

        Thanks Ethan. Your insight is always appreciated.

    • Craig 4 months ago

      Overheard a gaggle of B.C. Condo Sales Agents in a coffee shop yesterday. Pumping themselves up to have a big push for sales in the U.S. of A. “Over 500,000 active sales agents….” Blah. Blah. Blah. The last hope: The Weak Loonie will come to our rescue.

      Canada’s 4 Main Industries:
      Debt
      Immigration
      The Weak Loonie
      Money Laundering.

  • Chester Pape 4 months ago

    I see dozens of development proposals across Sheppard Avenue East from Markham Road to Bayview Avenue going westernly.

    There are condos being currently dug for the foundation at Pharmacy, Kennedy, Warden and at Consumers Road, Victoria Park Avenue.

    Tell me who is building those condos if real estate hiring is declining?

    • Yee Haw 4 months ago

      Is this a troll comment? It’s net jobs. When more projects complete than start, you get *drumroll* excess labour!

Comments are closed.