Q3 2023 Canada Market Brief: Job Growth Continued Amidst Signs a Broader Cooldown May Loom

Actalent's quarterly Labour Market and Economy Report connects important dots between data and trends across Canada's engineering and sciences employment landscape. 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 Q3 report include:

  1. Overall, Canada's economy added 97,300 jobs in quarter three. Employment slightly declined in July but grew in August and September. Engineering and Scientific R&D services gained the most, adding 52,200 jobs between July, August, and September. Demand is still growing for workers in healthcare, infrastructure, and life sciences, but continued inflation and weakened consumer demand are among signs the broader economy is likely to slow down. That could impact hiring but be unlikely to cause layoffs, according to experts.
  2. Looking at unemployment by industry, Utilities unemployment decreased 0.7% compared to Q2, while both Manufacturing and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services unemployment increased 0.7% – yet each remain well below the overall unemployment rate of 5.5%. Here’s a further breakdown of unemployment by STEM industry: Utilities (1.0%), Healthcare (1.6%), Construction (5.1%) Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (3.3%), and Manufacturing (3.6%).
  3. In Q3, year-over-year inflation increased from 2.8.% in June to 3.3% in July. It went up again to 4.0% in August and slightly back down to 3.8% in September. While low energy prices were credited with lowering inflation in June, higher energy prices accounted for the 1.0% increase between June and September. All told, 3.8% was lower than expected.
  4. The average hourly wage rate for all industries increased 5.0% between Q3 2022 and Q3 2023 and real wage growth continued to outpace inflation last month, which is good news for workers.
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