Employment reaches 93.6% of its February peak, as Ontario continues to manage the pandemic
Data / Labour Force Survey
Employment in Ontario rose by 142,000 in August (+2.0%), nearly all in full-time work, while the unemployment rate fell by 0.7 percentage points to 10.6%. Combined with the employment increases in June and July (+529,000), the gains in August brought employment in Ontario to within 93.6% of its pre-pandemic level.
By the start of the August Labour Force Survey reference week, restrictions had eased for most of Ontario, including Toronto and the Peel Region. By the middle of the week, on August 12, the region of Windsor-Essex joined the rest of the province in Stage 3.
While the summer presented a significant improvement for the accommodation, food service and retail sectors, August data demonstrates this growth is slowing.
Accommodation and food services as well as retail trade were among the industries hardest hit by the initial COVID-19 economic shutdown. By April, employment had fallen to half (-50.0%) of its pre-pandemic level in accommodation and food services and to 77.1% of its pre-COVID-19 level in retail trade. Starting in May, employment rebounded in both sectors as many provinces began reopening their economy.
Employment growth in accommodation and food services rose by 18.4% per month on average from May to July. In August, however, the pace of growth in the industry slowed to 5.3% (+49,000). Despite these recent gains, employment in accommodation and food services was at 78.9% of its February level. August marked the fifth full month of international travel restrictions, which continues to affect industries with strong ties to tourism.
The number of people employed in retail trade edged up 0.7% (+14,000) in August, following average monthly increases of 6.3% over the previous three months. Employment in retail trade reached 93.4% of its pre-COVID-19 level, but fell just below the rate of recovery for total employment (94.3%).
While employment remained below pre-COVID-19 levels, retail sales in June were higher than in February and are expected to continue to rise in July, based on preliminary estimates. This highlights potential structural changes within the industry as employers have been able to increase their sales despite a smaller workforce.
In contrast, employment rose by 51,000 (+3.9%) in educational services in August, reaching 97.6% of its pre-pandemic level. This was the fourth consecutive monthly employment increase and the largest since April, when employment fell to 88.5% of its pre-pandemic level. As thousands of students return to school in August and September, almost all workers in educational services (99.2%) reported that they or their employer had put in place measures to reduce the risk to COVID-19 exposure, such as physical distancing protocols and access to personal protective equipment.
Employment growth in the goods-producing sector was almost entirely attributable to manufacturing (+29,000; +1.8%) in August, with the gains concentrated in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. Employment in manufacturing reached 95.3% of its pre-COVID-19 level.
Results from the most recent Canadian Survey on Business Conditions indicated that in June, nearly one-quarter of manufacturing businesses expected to add more employees over the next three months.
Meanwhile, the number of people employed in the natural resources sector declined by 9,000 (-3.0%), with most of the decrease in Alberta (-7,000; -5.0%). Capital expenditures in the oil and gas extraction industries declined by over half (54%) from the first quarter to the second quarter, including spending on exploration and evaluation. Nevertheless, employment in the natural resources sector was within 95.9% of its February level and remained above the all-industry average.
We'll be discussing all of the latest employment detail at the October Labour Market Briefing
, taking place September 24th from 3-4pm. For more information, please visit: www.OntarioLabourMarketReport.ca
The Future of Work is Flexible
Research / Workplace Changes
As many Canadians head back to their place of work, a new survey by ADP Canada and Maru/Blue indicates a shift in attitude towards the traditional workplace. The survey found that 45 percent of working Canadians surveyed say they would prefer to work remotely at least three days a week and more than one quarter would prefer to work flex hours. Respondents, including managers and front-line employees, also said that remote work did not have a significant impact on productivity, quality of work and hours of work. While over half of employees surveyed (55%) say their employer has continued to allow remote and flexible work throughout COVID-19, it's clear that employers have an opportunity to embrace flexible work options beyond the pandemic.
Although the findings show strong support for flexible and remote work options, 69 percent of respondents are not willing to accept reduced compensation for the changes, which, prior to the pandemic, were sometimes seen as a perk. In addition, only four percent of workers said they would consider accepting reduced compensation to work reduced hours, for example, a four-day work week. Most Canadians surveyed (45%) also feel that remote workers have equal opportunity for job promotion and career advancement.
The younger generation of workers appear particularly drawn to remote work, with 61 percent of workers aged 18 to 34 saying they prefer to work remotely at least three days a week, compared to 43 percent of workers over 35. Additionally, only 13 percent of workers aged 18 to 34 said their job does not allow remote work compared to one quarter of workers aged over 35.
So, what will the workplace look like in five years? While just under half (44%) of Canadians surveyed do not think the workplace will change drastically, more than one quarter believe their employer will offer more flexible work options. Additionally, nearly one quarter believe most employees will work remotely in the future and six percent believe the workplace will be entirely virtual.
Those aged 18 to 34 are more likely to believe the workplace will change, compared to other age groups: 44 per cent believe their employer will offer more flexible work options in the next five years, compared to only a quarter of workers over 35.
Although anxious, results also show most employees (84%) believe their employer has taken the necessary precautions to protect workers from COVID-19. Over two-thirds of respondents say their employer has increased sanitization and cleaning of workspaces (66%), implemented social distancing measures (64%) or has provided protective barriers and equipment (51%).
Ontario investing $9.3M in automotive and advanced manufacturing skills training
Manufacturing / Skills Development
Ontario's provincial government is investing $9.3 million in 11 new projects to help approximately 2,000 students and job seekers train or re-train for careers in the automotive and advanced manufacturing sectors.
The funding will support projects from a range of organizations, including auto manufacturers, industry associations, training providers and public universities and colleges.
The training projects range from hands-on learning opportunities for students in co-op or internship settings to short-duration college courses that help laid-off workers learn to operate high-tech machinery or gain credentials for jobs in the auto or advanced manufacturing sector.
The companies/programs being invested in, and the amounts, are:
- Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association: $2,242,337 to create up to 669 hands-on learning opportunities in the auto sector for college and university students, graduates and apprentices across Ontario. This program is underway.
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: $480,000 for the FCA Canada Student Employment Experience. It will create up to 160 hands-on learning opportunities in research, production and office roles for students in Windsor, Brampton and Etobicoke. This program is underway.
- George Brown College: $2,521,352 for their Drive Ability - Opening Doors Program, which aims to create up to 600 hands-on learning opportunities for college and university students and establish a talent pipeline for the automotive and advanced manufacturing sector. George Brown College is partnering with five public colleges and York University on this work. This project is underway.
- George Brown College: $207,805 for a second new project to train up to 22 jobseekers and laid-off workers on computer-controlled technology and state-of-the-art precision machinery. By taking this program, people will gain a credential that will help them start a career in advanced manufacturing. This program is scheduled to begin in October.
- Skills for Change of Metro Toronto: $504,000 for their Welding and Employment Skills Training Program. This project will help up to 24 laid-off, at-risk or under-utilized auto or advanced manufacturing workers gain a new credential and transition to other roles or sectors within the auto or advanced manufacturing industry. This program is scheduled to begin in October.
- Ford Motor Company of Canada: $954,324 to create up to 244 co-op learning opportunities that prepare college and university students for the fields of advanced manufacturing, vehicle connectivity and business operations. This project is underway.
- Humber College: $279,101 for their Advanced Manufacturing Micro-Credentials Program in collaboration with advanced manufacturing employers. Humber College is offering up to 48 laid-off workers and jobseekers an opportunity to complete seven new "micro-credentials" that prepare them for employment in advanced manufacturing. Micro-credentialing certifies an individual's achievements in specific skills and are earned more quickly than degrees or diplomas. This program is underway.
- Canadian Skills Training and Employment Coalition: $791,429 to create up to 180 hands-on learning opportunities with automotive employers for college and university students. This program is underway.
- Seneca College Newnham Campus: $297,403 for Computer Numerical Control for Advanced Manufacturing to train up to 130 jobseekers and laid-off workers. This project will allow people to operate computer-controlled tools and machinery, help them gain a new credential and prepare them for employment in the advanced manufacturing and aerospace sector. This project is planned to begin in September.
- Sheridan College: $175,650 to train up to 24 workers to operate computer-controlled machinery, help them gain a new credential and prepare them for employment in the manufacturing sector. This project is planned to begin in September.
- Centennial College: $871,429 for their Advanced Manufacturing & Automation Technology Experiential Learning Initiative to create up to 200 hands-on learning opportunities for college and university students and prepare them for careers in the automotive sector. This project is planned to begin in September.
This Week in Social Media
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- Ontario invests $37M in skills training to speed up economic recovery (Click Here)
- New grads face tough job search this fall thanks to pandemic (Click Here)
- Shopify shutters Elgin offices but Ottawa will cope (Click Here)
- Tech sector power gains in Toronto (Click Here)
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Career Development Events
Armada Automotive is Holding a Job Fair
Thurs Sept 10th | 10am - 4pm
Location: Lindsay, Ontario
Linen Chest is Holding a Hiring Event
Fri Sept 11th- Sun Sept 13th | 10am - 6pm
Location: Pinecrest Shopping Center, 2685 Iris Street, Ottawa, Ontario
Retail Sales Associate Virtual Job Fair
Sept 16th, 2020
Location: Richmond Hill, Ontario
January 25 & 27, February 1 & 3, 2021
Career Development Employment
To post a job here, please email: OntarioLMR@Outlook.com
(When you write your cover letter, please mention you saw this advertisement in the Ontario Labour Market Report.)
Mentorship Employment Counsellor
Closes: September 20, 2020
Employment Counsellor *NEW*
Peel Career Assessment Services Inc. -
Link: Please Click Here
Employment Counsellor / Job Developer
Meta Employment Services - Durham Branch (Whitby)
Link: Please Click Here
Co-op and Career Counsellor/Job Developer
Toronto Business College
Link: Please Click Here
Did you know?
The number of people who wanted to work but did not search for a job was little changed in August. If people in this group were included as unemployed, the adjusted unemployment rate would be 13.0%. The adjusted unemployment rate was 13.8% in July and 7.3% in February.
- Statistics Canada
Quote of the Week
"Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned."
- Peter Marshall
Ontario Labour Market Report
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