Feb 15, 2023: Employment (Jan. 2023); Investment (Dec. 2022)

February 15, 2023

Summary: Employment and labour force decreased, while the unemployment rate returned to levels from early 2022. Investment increased modestly from November to December. Industrial sector investment continued to climb higher.

From December to January, the labour force decreased from 616.2 thousand to 599.1 thousand. Employment also decreased, from 596.6 thousand to 564.7 thousand. These numbers are lower than most of 2022, but still higher than the figures from the same time last year.

The unemployment rate increased from 3.1% to 5.7%. This is close the to average unemployment rate from Q1 2022 (5.8%). This is also the first time since February 2022 that the unemployment rate for construction was higher than the overall unemployment rate.

Investment: Monthly Changes
Investment increased from November to December by 3% ($2.26-$2.33 billion). The institutional sector led the way with a 3.7% increase ($471.2-$488.8 million). Industrial investment grew 3.1% ($521.8 million-$538.1 million). Investment in this sector also continued its momentum since reaching a record high in June 2022 (when measured by current seasonally unadjusted dollars). Commercial investment rose by 2.6% ($1.27 – $1.30 billion) and was also the second highest on record.

On a year-over-year basis, increases were slightly more pronounced, with overall investment increasing by 12.5% ($2.07-$2.33 billion). This was led by the industrial sector, which increased by 36.7% ($393.6-$538.1 million).

Quarterly changes were slightly higher compared to monthly changes, with a 5.4% increase compared to Q3 2022, and a 10% change compared to Q4 2021.

Total YTD investment was up 7.8%, led by the industrial sector with a 23.3% increase.

Overall, the labour market cooled notably compared to prior months, with the unemployment rate dropping below the overall rate for Ontario. This is in part due to seasonal variation (since typically the unemployment rate in construction is higher in the winter months). However, the labour market was still stronger compared to last year. Investment climbed moderately, likely indicating stable construction activity and perhaps more activity compared to last year.



Ali Ahmad
Research Analyst

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