List of Canadian provinces by unemployment rate

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The list of Canadian provinces by unemployment rate are statistics that directly refer to the nation's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate. Below is a comparison of the seasonally adjusted unemployment rates by province/territory, sortable by name or unemployment rate. Data provided by Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey.[1] Not seasonally adjusted data reflects the actual current unemployment rate, while seasonally adjusted data removes the seasonal component from the information.

Unemployment by province or territory[edit]

Statistic set below: April 2019.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

Note: Statistics for the territories (i.e. Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut) are not seasonally adjusted.

Province or territory Unemployment rate
(seasonally adjusted)
Monthly percent change
(Positive decrease=drop in unemployment)
Canada Canada (national) 5.7 Steady 0.0%
British Columbia British Columbia 4.6 Negative increase 0.2%
Alberta Alberta 6.7 Positive decrease 0.4%
Saskatchewan Saskatchewan 5.4 Positive decrease 0.9%
Manitoba Manitoba 5.2 Positive decrease 0.3%
Ontario Ontario 6.0 Negative increase 0.2%
Quebec Québec 4.9 Positive decrease 0.1%
New Brunswick New Brunswick 8.0 Positive decrease 0.6%
Prince Edward Island Prince Edward Island 8.6 Positive decrease 1.4%
Nova Scotia Nova Scotia 6.9 Positive decrease 0.2%
Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador 11.7 Positive decrease 0.3%
Yukon Yukon 4.1
Northwest Territories Northwest Territories 7.0
Nunavut Nunavut 14.8

Definitions of modern full employment range from 3% to 6% unemployment rates. As of 2016, the fastest growing economies are in Ontario and B.C..

Data differences from US rates[edit]

Canada uses a different measure to gauge the unemployment rate than the United States calculation. An analyst with the American Bureau of Labour Statistics stated that if the Canadian unemployment rate were adjusted to U.S. concepts, it would be reduced by 1 percentage point.[8]

In Canada, 15-year-olds are included in surveys of the working age population and therefore are included in their calculations. In the United States, 15-year-olds are not included in the calculations. A larger contributor to the difference is that flipping through the want-ads in a newspaper (or on the internet) gets people classified as unemployed in Canada, but not in the United States. A rise in the use of these passive job search methods in Canada is important as an explanation for the methodology bump of +1% for the Canadian figures.[8]

Unemployment extremes[edit]

The lowest level of national unemployment came in 1947 with a 2.2% unemployment rate, a result of the smaller pool of available workers caused by casualties from the Second World War.

The highest level of unemployment throughout Canada was set on December 1982, when the early 1980s recession resulted in 13.1% of the adult population being out of work due to economic factors that originated in the United States.[9] The primary cause of the early 1980s recession was a contractionary monetary policy established by the Federal Reserve System to control high inflation.[10]

During the Great Depression, urban unemployment throughout Canada was 19%; Toronto's rate was 17%, according to the census of 1931. Farmers who stayed on their farms were not considered unemployed.[11]


  1. ^ Labour force characteristics by province – Seasonally adjusted . Statistics Canada. Accessed 2012-12-07.
  2. ^ "Labour Force Survey, November 2017". Statistics Canada. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  3. ^ "Unemployment rate by province, November 2017". Statistics Canada. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  4. ^ "Labour force characteristics, seasonally adjusted, by province (monthly)". Statistics Canada. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  5. ^ "Labour force characteristics, unadjusted, by territory (3 month moving average)". Statistics Canada. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  6. ^ "Unemployment Rate". Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  7. ^ "Labour Force Survey, March 2019". Statistics Canada. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  8. ^ a b MILES CORAK (May 4, 2012). "A fast way to lower jobless rate: Use U.S. metrics". Globe and Mail.
  9. ^ "Canadian Unemployment Rates". Dave Manuel. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  10. ^ "The downturn was precipitated by a rise in interest rates to levels that exceeded the record rates recorded a year earlier." Congressional Budget Office, "The Prospects for Economic Recovery," February 1982.
  11. ^ Canada, Bureau of the Census, Unemployment Vol. VI (Ottawa 1931), 1,267