Analyzing Canada’s Labour Participation Rate: February 2023 Insights

Canada’s labour market continues to exhibit resilience, as the Labour Force Survey for February 2023 reveals stable employment figures and a consistent unemployment rate of 5.0%. This article delves into the key highlights and insights from the latest data release, shedding light on the dynamics of the Canadian workforce.

Steady Employment Trends

Employment in Canada remained steady in February, with an increase of 22,000 jobs, contributing to a positive upward trend since September 2022. Interestingly, employment among those aged 55 to 64 surged by 25,000, showcasing a strong trend that began in August 2022. This trend is indicative of an evolving labor market, where older individuals are actively participating.

Sectoral Insights

Several sectors experienced notable changes in employment. The healthcare and social assistance sector witnessed substantial growth, with 15,000 new jobs created in February. Public administration also saw a boost, adding 10,000 positions. However, the business, building, and other support services sector recorded a decline of 11,000 jobs, marking its first notable drop since October 2021.

Gender and Age Dynamics

Employment among women in the six months leading up to February increased, reflecting ongoing progress in gender balance within the workforce. Of particular note is the surge in employment for women aged 55 to 64, with a record-high employment rate of 60.8%. On the other hand, core-aged adults (25 to 54) saw little change in employment levels. The youth employment rate in February stood at 59.5%, demonstrating a steady increase over the past year.

Wage Growth and Unemployment Rate

Average hourly wages rose by 5.4% year-over-year in February, reaching $33.16. This increase reflects robust wage growth in the Canadian labor market, outperforming previous months. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.0% in February, remaining close to the record low observed in June and July of 2022.


Regional Variations

Employment trends varied across provinces. Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Manitoba experienced job growth, while Nova Scotia reported a decline. Quebec continued to exhibit a strong labor market, with a low unemployment rate of 4.1%. In contrast, Ontario’s employment held steady, with a 5.1% unemployment rate.


Canada’s labour participation rate remains robust, with steady employment growth in various sectors and across demographics. The increasing participation of older workers and the persistent wage growth are positive indicators of the country’s economic health. Despite regional variations, Canada’s labor market appears resilient, promising continued stability in the months to come.