Oct 12, 2023: Softer Employment, Lower Unemployment Rate; Institutional Permit Value at Record High

October 12, 2023

Summary: Employment and Labour Force decreased from the record highs of August, to 606.8 thousand and 630.1 thousand respectively. The unemployment rate dropped slightly from 3.9% to 3.7%. Total ICI permit values increased 87.7% monthly, driven by a massive increase in institutional permit value.

From August to September, employment decreased from a record 624.6 thousand to 606.8 thousand. The labour force decreased from its record high of 649.9 thousand in August to 630.1 thousand.

The unemployment rate also decreased, from 3.9% to 3.7%. Although one of the lower unemployment rates this year, this was a full percentage point higher compared to September 2022. The overall Ontario unemployment rate decreased from 6.9% to 5.9%. This is slightly higher than September 2022 (5.4%) and even higher compared to the pre-pandemic unemployment rate (5.1% in September 2019).

Monthly Changes
From July to August, total ICI permit value increased by 87.7% ($1.6 billion – $3.1 billion). Commercial permit value increased by 25.7% ($703 million – $884 million); however, this was down 20% annually.  Industrial permit value declined slightly, by 3.9% ($498 million – $479 million). Institutional permit value skyrocketed ahead 291.1% compared to July, almost quadrupling in value from $439 million to $1.72 billion. Regardless of the measurement used, (current dollars, constant 2012 dollars, with or without seasonal adjustment), institutional sector permit value reached a record high. Total permit value also reached a record high in all measures, except when measured in seasonally adjusted constant dollars.

Some notable institutional sector permits include a hospital renovation project in Toronto as well as a correctional facility in Thunder Bay.

Overall year-to-date ICI permit value was up 26% compared to the same time last year. The largest percentage increase was in the institutional sector at 73.5%.



Ali Ahmad
Research Analyst

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