Jan 11, 2023: Employment (Dec 2022); Permits (Nov 2022)

January 11, 2023

Summary: Employment, labour force participation, and unemployment rate increased. Employment remained above the annual average for 2022, while the unemployment rate was about 1% lower than the annual average. Permit values increased substantially from October to November, with record high or close to record high values (when measured by current, seasonally unadjusted dollars). The industrial sector once again led the way in permit value increases.

From November to December, the labour force increased in size from 601.4 thousand to 605.5 thousand. This is the first increase after 3 consecutive decreases since August. Despite that, the labour force participation in December was lower than the annual average for 2022. The average of the monthly labour force numbers was 606.2 thousand.

Employment increased slightly, from 586.5 to 587.1 thousand. This is lower than any level between June and October, but higher than May and earlier this year. This was higher than the 2022 average of 582.9 thousand.

The unemployment rate also increased to 3%. While higher than it was from July-November, the unemployment rate was still much lower than it was at the start of the year (6.2%), and lower than the average of 3.9%.

Building permit values increased from October to November by 130.5% ($1.33-$3.06 billion). The institutional sector led the way with a staggering 224.2% increase ($209-$677.7 million). This can be attributed to plans for a courthouse in Toronto, valued at just over $500 million. Industrial permit value also experienced substantial growth with an increase of 143.6% ($429.2 million-$1.05 billion). This is in part due to a $425 million permit for a Toronto manufacturing plant. Commercial permit values rose by 94.1% ($690.6 million – $1.34 billion).

These values are record or near record highs when measured in current, seasonally unadjusted dollars. Industrial permit value is the highest on record, with the current value almost doubling the previous record from August 2022. Commercial permit value is the second highest on record ($1.34 billion compared to $1.35 billion from September 2020). Institutional permit value is the highest it’s been in over 5 years. Total non-residential construction permit value is at an all time high, almost $1 billion higher than the previous record from August 2022.

Overall, YTD permit values were up 20.1%, while the industrial sector led the way with a 67.8% increase.

Overall, employment remained relatively stable in December, while the labour force climbed up by a larger amount, leading to a slight increase in the unemployment rate. Permits, however, increased considerably; current construction intentions are at an all-time high when measured by current, seasonally unadjusted dollars.



Ali Ahmad
Research Analyst

Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS)
180 Attwell Drive, Suite 360, Toronto, ON M9W 6A9
P 416.620.5210 ext. 222