Earlier this month, Statistics Canada released its monthly jobs report for May 2023. By all indications, there has been considerable softening in the Canadian labour market in the past few months.

According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), unemployment ticked up slightly to 5.2 per cent, after holding steady at 5 per cent for five straight months. This is the first recorded increase in joblessness since August of last year. Total hours worked in the month fell slightly from April, but were up by 2.2 per cent relative to last May.

Additionally, Statistics Canada’s figures for job vacancies further indicate a decelerating labour market. Total job vacancies continue to fall, while the job vacancy rate edged up in the first quarter of 2023. There are now 1.3 unemployed persons for each job vacancy in Canada, up from 1.1 in the second and third quarters of 2022.

Despite this softening, it wasn’t all bad news on the wage front.

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