July 9 2024: Unemployment Rate Drops Again; Job Vacancy Rate Down

July 9, 2024

Employment and labour force decreased slightly from May to June and contracted year-over-year (y/y).  The unemployment rate decreased from 5.0% to 4.5%. The job vacancy rate cooled to 3.1% in construction and Ontario overall, coming down from the tight labour markets of previous quarters.

From May to June, employment decreased from 578.9 thousand to 576.1 thousand (-6.8% y/y), while the labour force decreased from 609.6 thousand to 603.2 thousand (-5.0% y/y). Despite the decrease, the unemployment rate dropped from 5.0% to 4.5%. While this rate is the lowest so far in 2024, it is also the highest rate for June since 2017 (excluding 2020). The overall Ontario rate also decreased slightly from 7.1% to 6.9%. Excluding 2020 and 2021, this is also the highest the unemployment rate has been since 2014.

In tandem with the more normalized unemployment rates, job vacancy rates have also cooled compared to the last couple of years. In Q1 2024, the construction sector vacancy rate was 3.1%, higher than the Q4 2023 rate of 2.9%, but far lower than the quarters prior, particularly when compared to the 7% of Q2 2022. The overall Ontario Job vacancy rate also fell to 3.1%, coming down from previous quarters. This cooled demand is in part due to the effect of past interest rate hikes in the effort to curb inflation.

Turning over to demographics, female (15 and over) employment and labour force were lower compared to last year at -8.5% y/y and -12.6% y/y, respectively. The monthly trend has also been shifting downward since March. However, the share of female employment has been relatively steady in 2024, only dropping down to 13% from the 15% peak in March.

Looking at age groups, employment in the 55+ cohort (both sexes) decreased from 127.3 thousand in May to 110.3 thousand in June (-11.3% y/y), and labour force decreased from 135.1 thousand to 115.2 thousand (-9.7% y/y). With the exception of 2020 and July 2023, these yearly changes were relatively large. Slightly offsetting this was the increase in the 15-24 cohort (both sexes), with employment rising from 67.4 thousand 73.2 thousand (5.8% y/y) and labour force increasing from 73.1 thousand to 78.9 thousand (4.6% y/y).



Ali Ahmad
Research Analyst

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