Q2 2023 Canada Market Brief: Inflation Persists and Hourly Wages are Up

Actalent's quarterly Labour Market and Economy Report connects important dots between data and trends in Canada’s engineering and sciences employment. Specifically, readers can expect to learn about job growth in engineering and sciences by industry, unemployment trends, labour force participation rates, and other factors that impact the hiring, attraction, and retention of workers.

A few key insights from the Q2 report include:

  1. Overall, Canada's economy added 84,000 jobs in quarter two, with June experiencing the highest gain at 59,900. Consumer & Industrial Products added 43,000 jobs between April, May, and June.
  2. Several industries continue to have unemployment rates that fall well below the overall unemployment rate of 5.2%: Utilities (1.7%), Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (2.6%), and Manufacturing (2.9%).
  3. In Q2, Canada's inflation declined from 4.4% in April to 2.8% in June. The decrease in June is largely attributed to low energy prices; however, when the more volatile food and energy prices are excluded from the calculation, June’s “core” price inflation was 3.5%. Therefore, it’s likely the Bank of Canada will continue to raise interest rates until "core" price inflation achieves 2% or below.
  4. The average hourly wage rate for all industries increased 4.82% between Q2 2022 and Q2 2023. By industry, average hourly earnings are highest in Utilities, although the Q2 2023 average hourly earnings for Utilities workers ($48.05) fell about a dollar below the Q1 2023 average ($49.18). Among Actalent-relevant occupations, 'Professional occupations in engineering' have the highest average hourly wage ($51.40 in Q2 2023).
Download the Report