The list of Canadian cities and towns with the lowest level of unemployment might surprise you. Here’s where the jobs are (and aren’t.)
Would you consider moving for a new job opportunity – or extending your commute to the next town over for a better gig? The latest job numbers from Statistics Canada reveal which cities and towns have the lowest unemployment rates in the country, and most of our large urban centres don’t make the cut.
There can never be an unemployment rate of 0.0 per cent, because companies are always making staffing changes, and people transitioning in their careers. So, at any given point, there will be people who have lost jobs, are changing jobs, or are for some other reason unemployed.
Therefore, most economists estimate that an unemployment rate of 5.1 per cent or below would equal full employment. That doesn’t mean that everyone has a job – but that there are enough jobs available for everyone who wants one. (The one caveat to this is the situation where there are positions available requiring a high degree of skills – and unemployed people who lack the credentials to feel the open positions.)
An unemployment rate below 4.0 per cent creates labour shortage conditions – where there are positions going unfilled simply because there aren’t enough people available to fill them. This leads to increased competition for workers with companies increasing the salaries and perks offered in order to recruit and retain staff.
According to Stats Can, there are a few Canadian towns that have pretty close to that 4.0 per cent unemployment right now. Here are the best cities and towns for finding work right now.
The ten Canadian cities with the lowest unemployment rates:
Moncton, N.B. – 5.1 per cent
Quebec City, Que. 3.8 – per cent
Sherbrooke, Que. – 5.0 per cent
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, Ont. – 4.4 per cent
Guelph, Ont. – 4.7 per cent
Hamilton, Ont. – 4.6 per cent
Thunder Bay, Ont. – 5.1 per cent
Kelowna, B.C. – 4.6 per cent
Vancouver, B.C. – 4.7 per cent
Victoria, B.C. – 4.6 per cent
The towns with the highest unemployment
The Western region – which had previously been experiencing labour shortage conditions during the oil and gas boom of a few years ago – has some of the cities with the highest unemployment right now. Calgary has an 8.5 per cent jobless rate and Edmonton has 8.7 per cent.
St. John’s, NL has 8.4 per cent unemployment and Peterborough, Ontario has 8.3 per cent.
Canada’s largest city, Toronto has 6.4 per cent unemployment – or just slightly above the national average of 6.2 – which is the lowest the country has seen in the nine years since the recession.