December 5, 2023: Employment and Labour Force Increase Modestly, Institutional Investment Jumps 11%

December 5, 2023

Employment and labour force increased slightly but left the unemployment rate unchanged at 4.3%. Total ICI building construction investment was up 3.1% from August to September. The institutional sector experienced the largest percentage increase at 11.7%. Industrial sector investment continues its steady upward trend, continually setting new record highs.

From October to November, employment increased from 600.5 thousand to 603.6 thousand, while the labour force increased from 627.2 thousand to 630.9 thousand. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.3%. The overall Ontario unemployment rate was 5.5%, down from the 5.9% in October.

When looking at a more detailed breakdown, one notable trend was that both female employment and labour force participation in Ontario construction was over 20% higher compared to the same time last year. This is the case for most months since May 2023. On a month-to-month basis, the increase was less dramatic, but levels have been higher overall for 2023; there has not been a single year-over-year decrease in either female employment or in the labour force participation for Ontario construction.

Monthly Changes 
Total ICI investment in building construction increased by 3.1% from August to September ($2.56 billion – $2.64 billion). Commercial building investment flatlined with a change of 0.1%. Industrial investment grew 2.1% ($606.6 million – $619.4 million), continuing to set new record highs. The year-over-year increase was much more substantial, increasing 21.6% ($509.3 million – $619.4 million). Institutional investment rose a significant 11.7% ($551.5 million – $615.9 million). This is a relatively large monthly jump for investment in building construction and coincides with the elevated construction activity due to a large hospital reconstruction job in Toronto and the construction of a new correctional facility in Thunder Bay.

Total investment in ICI building construction was up 13.6% compared to the same time last year, with the industrial sector experiencing the largest percentage change (31.9%).



Ali Ahmad
Research Analyst

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