Arisnel Mesidor, M.A., RCIC
Employment in Canada declined in January 2022
On February 2, 2022, Statistics Canada published on February 2, 2022, a new Labour Force Survey for the week of January 9 to 15.
As a result of the spread of COVID-19's Omicron variant, employment fell by 200,000 (-1%) in January 2022, and the unemployment rate increased to 6.5%. The decline in employment was mostly visible in Ontario and Quebec, hitting mainly the accommodation and food services industries of the private sector.
In this fifth wave of the pandemic, youth aged 15 to 24 were most affected by employment losses as it was in the previous waves. For women aged 25 to 54, only part-time work (-43,000; -4.3%) contributed to employment declines.
All of the employment decline in January 2022 was among private sector employees (-206,000; -1.6%). In January, 1 in 10 (10.0%) employees were absent from their job due to illness or disability.
Almost one quarter of workers (24.3%) reported exclusively working from home. The average hourly wage grew 2.4% (+$0.72) on a year-over-year basis in January, down from 2.7% in November and December 2021.
In January, the unemployment rate increased 0.5 percentage points to 6.5%, the first rise since April 2021. The total number of unemployed people increased by 106,000 (+8.6%) to 1.34 million.
The number of people on temporary layoff or slated to begin work in the near future increased by 120,000 (+130.5%). The unemployment rate for youth aged 15 to 24 rose 2.5 percentage points to 13.6%.