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Canada’s October jobs report: Cooling manufacturing labor market

November 3, 2023

Authored by RSM Canada LLP

Marc Boivin CPA, CA, CBV shared this article

REAL ECONOMY BLOG | November 03, 2023

Canada’s jobs report for October shows a continued slowdown in the manufacturing sector consistent with S&P Global’s purchasing managers’ index, indicating that the manufacturing sector has been in a contraction territory since April this year.

Canada’s manufacturing sector lost 19,000 jobs in October, according to Statistics Canada data released Friday. That loss follows 9,000 net additions in September and 30,000 job losses in August.

Line chart shows net manufacturing employment change from 2019 through October 2023

Bar chart shows Canada's manufacturing purchasing manager's index from 2020 through October 2023

The manufacturing unemployment rate declined to 3.9% from 4.3% in September. The decline was mainly associated with lower labor force participation on a month-over-month basis, though high levels of immigration are driving overall population growth and labor force participation in the manufacturing sector compared to last year.

Line chart shows manufacturing unemployment vs the labor participation rate, from 2019 through October 2023

Open job positions have gradually decreased to 49,600, down from the peak of 92,100 openings in the spring of last year.  On the other side, the number of unemployed workers in the manufacturing sector has increased to 73,700 from a low of 47,100 at the beginning of the year.

Manufacturing wages continued to grow at 5% year-over-year, delivering positive real wages every month this year since February with decelerating headline inflation. However, the broader economic slowdown with fewer job vacancies and growing labor participation suggests that the momentum in wage growth may begin to wane.

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This article was written by Irina Im and originally appeared on 2023-11-03 RSM Canada, and is available online at

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