Canada reports record-low unemployment in May

New report reveals level of flexibility granted for employees – with one quarter of workers enjoying the perk

Canada reports record-low unemployment in May

Employment goes up, unemployment hits record low, and more than one-quarter of employees enjoy workplace flexibility - these are the results from the latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) released by Statistics Canada for May.              

According to the figures released on Friday, employment across Canada increased by 39,800 for the month of May, driven by strong growth in full-time work.

The services-producing sector rose by 81,000 in May, according to the LFS, while the goods-producing sector declined by 41,000.

The provinces that registered higher employment rates included the Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Alberta. New Brunswick posted a decline, while the rest of the provinces reported little changes.

The number of total hours worked is 5.1% higher than 12 months ago, said the LFS, while the average hourly wages increased 3.9% on a year-over-year basis.

Unemployment hits record low

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in Canada declined 0.1 percentage points in May to hit a new record low of 5.1%.

According to Statistics Canada, the adjusted employment rate, which includes those who wanted a job but didn't apply for one, also dropped 0.2 percentage points to seven per cent. This is also the lowest on record since data became available in 1976.

The survey said that long-term unemployment accounted for the 19.7% of all unemployment in May, higher than the 15.6% back in February 2020. Statistics Canada attributed this to geographic variations in the "demographic composition of the labour force and in the match between the skills required for vacant positions and the skills of potential workers."

Read more: Canada's Labour Force Survey: Canada adds 337K jobs in Feb

Workplace flexibility

In another finding from the LFS, 27.9% employees reported that they were given the option to choose their work location for at least some time, including 13.9% who were able to select all the time.

It comes as more employees value the importance of flexibility, thanks to the changes from the pandemic, leaving employers with the tough decision between asking them back to workplaces or extending remote work arrangements.

According to the report, just under one in five employees are exclusively working from home, while the number of Canadians under hybrid work increased slightly in May (+0.5 percentage points to 6.3%).

Recent articles & video

9 in 10 CEOs expect headcount to rise in next 3 years

Good news for employers: Canada boosts IEC program

Long-awaited decision weighs in on validity of mandatory vaccines

Minor job growth seen in November

Most Read Articles

10 paid sick days now a reality

Ontario's Bill 124 declared void

Vancouver company owes half-a-million in wages after paying staff with gift cards