June 13 2024: Unemployment Rate Drops; Cooler Permit Values

June 13, 2024

Employment and labour force increased from April to May but were lower year-over-year (y/y).  The unemployment rate decreased from 5.8% down to 5.0%. ICI Permit value came in lower in April, with an overall -18.6% m/m change.

From April to May, employment increased from 565.6 thousand to 578.9 thousand (-5.5% y/y), while the labour force increased from 600.1 thousand to 609.6 thousand (-5.0% y/y). The unemployment rate dropped from 5.8% to 5.0%, which is the lowest so far in 2024 (5.0% was also the average unemployment rate in 2023). The overall Ontario rate, however, went the opposite direction, climbing from 6.7% to 7.1%.

Turning over to demographics, female (15 and over) employment and labour force were lower compared to last year with -3.8% y/y and -4.0% y/y changes, respectively. This reversed the 17-month streak of higher y/y female employment and labour force in construction. Male employment and labour force also declined at a respective -5.8% y/y and -5.2% y/y. Employment in the 24-55 cohort (both sexes) was -7.3% y/y, and labour force was -8.1% y/y.

Total ICI permit value decreased from $1.99 billion (B) in March to $1.69B in April, owing to decreases in both the commercial and industrial sectors. Commercial sector permit value fell from the March high of $1.17B to $739.8M in April (-36.9% m/m), similar to levels from February. Despite the drop, commercial sector was still up +37.2% y/y. Industrial building permit value declined from $435.2M to $342.7M, and changed -21.3% m/m, but as with the commercial sector, remained higher compared to last year (+28.1% y/y). Institutional sector permit value was up 30% m/m from $465.3M to $604.7M (+3.1% y/y). Year-to-date permit value changes were mixed across sectors, with the industrial sector down versus 2023 (-4.8%).



Ali Ahmad
Research Analyst

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