May 15 2024: Unemployment Down; Permit Value Changes Mixed

May 15, 2024

Employment and labour force declined from March to April and were lower year-over-year (y/y).  The unemployment rate decreased from 7.0% to 5.8%, the lowest so far in 2024. Permit value changes were mixed across sectors, with an overall -4.1% y/y change.

From March to April, employment decreased from 573.2 thousand to 565.6 thousand (-4.3 y/y), while the labour force decreased from 616.2 thousand to 600.1 thousand (-4.8% y/y). The unemployment rate dropped from 7.0% in March to 5.8% in April (the lowest in the last 10 Aprils, except for 2022 when it was 5.1%). This was lower than the Ontario overall unemployment rate of 6.7%.

Looking at demographics, female (15 and over) employment was stable at +0.7% y/y and labour force went up +4.5%. In contrast, male employment and labour force declined at a respective -5.1% y/y and -6.1 y/y. Employment among the prime working years (24-55, both sexes) was -4.4% y/y, while labour force was -5.6% y/y.

Total ICI permit value decreased modestly from $2.01 billion (B) in February to $1.99B in March. The commercial sector rebounded strongly, up from $754.2M to $1.18B (+56.9% m/m) and was also up +36.8% y/y. Industrial permit value was down -25% m/m, dropping from $590.7M to $442.8M, and fell by -43.3% y/y. Institutional sector permit value came down from $660.7M to $361.9M, down a sizable -45.2% m/m and -15.3% y/y. Despite the decreases, total ICI permit value was up +4.7% on a quarterly basis (Q4 2023 vs Q1 2024), and up +9% from Q1 2023.

Year-to-date permit value changes were mixed across sectors, with the industrial sector down versus 2023 (-9.5%).




Ali Ahmad
Research Analyst

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