Canada’s unemployment rates are currently the lowest they have been since comparable data became available in 1976. 

According to a Statistics Canada report, employment rose by 94,000 in November 2018, and the unemployment rate decreased 0.2 percentage points to 5.6%.

Employment levels increased for six provinces including British Columbia, and remained relatively unchanged for the four Atlantic provinces.

More people worked in professional, scientific and technical services; health care and social assistance; construction; business, building and other support services; transportation and warehousing; and agriculture. At the same time, fewer people worked in information, culture and recreation.

The number of employed people increased mostly for private sector employees, in the demographic of both core-aged women and men (aged 25 to 54), and for older people (aged 55 and over), mostly men.

“B.C.’s strong jobs numbers and latest fiscal update show that we can have a truly balanced budget with a robust surplus, while investing in people and making life more affordable,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology.

“For the 15th month in a row, B.C. had the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 4.4% and, in the past year, employment in the province increased by 42,500 jobs.”

Another interesting aspect of the Labour Force Survey is the addition of cannabis-related employment – a statistic that increased by 266% this November (post-legalization) compared to 2018.

More men than women worked in these jobs (79% compared with 21%) and the median age was 35 years. The average hourly wage for employees in cannabis-related jobs was $29.58, higher than the national average of $27.03.

The highest levels of cannabis-related employment was in Ontario, where 5,700 people are employed in the industry, accounting for over half of the national total.

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