Employment rate for women 25-54 rises to record 81.6% in November

WATCH: Canada’s employment rate reaches record 81.6% among women 25-54 in November

Strong job growth for core-aged women helped push the national unemployment rate even lower to 5.1 per cent in November, according to Statistics Canada.

Women aged 25 to 54 set a new employment rate record in November at 81.6 per cent after added 25,000 jobs last month, the federal agency said. That’s the highest that figure has stood since data tracking started in 1976 and trumps the previous record of 81.4 per cent set in May 2022.

Robust employment is widespread among different groups of core-aged women, the agency noted.

First Nations women living off reserve in this age group set an employment record for the month of November of 70 per cent, while core-aged Métis women also reached a new high of 83.5 per cent for the month.

Employment also reached a new November high of 69.7 per cent for core-aged women among very recent immigrants — those who arrived in the past five years.

Statistics Canada pointed to 2021 census data that showed recent immigrants having higher levels of education and more pre-admission experience than previous cohorts as a possible reason for stronger employment levels.

Women aged 55 and older saw little change in employment, the agency said, while the unemployment rate for young women aged 15-24 ticked down 1.2 percentage points to 9.3 per cent in November, the first decline here since June.

Overall, employment for younger women was down year-over-year in November, though Statistics Canada attributed that to job losses in August and September.

Statistics Canada says that overall, employment was little changed in November as the economy added a modest 10,000 jobs.The federal agency said Canada’s unemployment rate fell slightly to 5.1 per cent — down from 5.2 per cent in the previous month but still above the record lows of 4.9 per cent seen in June and July.

Employment rose in several industries, including finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, manufacturing and in information, culture and recreation.

It fell in construction as well as wholesale and retail trade.

Canada’s labour market has remained remarkably strong despite signs of an economic slowdown.

In November, wages were up 5.6 per cent compared to a year ago, marking the sixth consecutive month of above 5.0 per cent growth.

However, wage growth continues to lag inflation. In October, the annual inflation rate was 6.9 per cent.

Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem has characterized Canada’s low unemployment rate as unsustainable and said it’s contributing to high inflation.

The central bank is hoping to see the labour market ease in response to its aggressive interest rate hikes this year.

Recent research from the Bank of Canada suggests it believes it can bring inflation down without causing a large increase in unemployment.

The central bank began raising interest rates in March, when it delivered the first of six consecutive rate hikes.

It’s expected to deliver another interest rate increase next week.

As the Bank of Canada nears the end of the rate hiking cycle, markets will be watching out for any indication next week on whether to expect another rate hike in January.

— with files from The Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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