State of the Labour Market

December Labour Force Survey: Some Clawback of November Losses


Gains driven by private sector employers.

Labour market watchers can breathe a small sigh of relief seeing November’s losses somewhat reversed in December. It’s especially reassuring to see that gains were driven by private sector employers, rather than the public sector or self-employment, since the latter two can be quite volatile relative to their smaller size. Quebec, which was the main source of declines in the month prior ticked back somewhat, while Ontario made further progress. 

Even with December’s gain, year-over-year employment growth has slowed from the particularly strong pace seen in the middle of 2019, consistent with other labour market data. With the Canadian labour market outperforming other measures of economic activity throughout most of last year, the trends seem to be converging as we start the new year. That said, while momentum might have cooled, progress over the past few years continues to point to favourable conditions for job seekers at the outset of 2020.  

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