Unemployment Rate


Percentage of all unemployed persons in the labour force (age 15 and over).

Why This Matters

“Employment is associated with the financial stability of Canadians and their families. As well, employment usually contributes to better self-esteem, more social interaction, and a shared sense of purpose. Employment is related to higher levels of mental health and wellbeing, and the financial means that allow access to better quality food and shelter, in addition to numerous leisure and educational opportunities. Consequently, higher employment rates indicate greater population wellbeing.” Canadian Index of Well-Being – accessed November 11, 2019

Measurement and Limitations

The unemployment rate for a particular group (age, sex, marital status, etc.) is the number unemployed in that group expressed as a percentage of the labour force for that group. Estimates are percentages, rounded to the nearest tenth.

From 2001 to 2014, due to a slightly smaller sample size relative to other CMAs, the unemployment level and rate in Kelowna and Peterborough has more sampling variability and should therefore be interpreted with caution.

To ensure respondent confidentiality, estimates below a certain threshold are suppressed. For Canada, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia suppression is applied to all data below 1,500. The threshold level for Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan is 500, while in Prince Edward Island, estimates under 200 are supressed. For census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and economic regions (ERs), use their respective provincial suppression levels mentioned above. Estimates are based on smaller sample sizes the more detailed the table becomes, which could result in lower data quality.

“Employment in Canada was on an upward trend from 1994 to 2008, but dropped sharply following the 2008 economic crisis and has not yet recovered.” Canadian Index of Well-Being – accessed November 11, 2019

The unemployment rate in Peterborough was 5.3% at the end of June 2019, down 0.5% from the previous month.

The number of full-time jobs was down from the end of the previous month. There were 100 fewer full-time jobs in June 2019 compared to a month earlier. A loss of 200 part-time positions led to a decrease of 300 total jobs in June.

Full-time job gains occurred mainly in agriculture, utilities, construction, transportation and warehousing, business and building services, education, information and culture services, and accommodation and food services. These gains were offset by losses occurring mainly in natural resources, manufacturing, trade services, the financial sector, science and technology services, healthcare, and public administration.

Trends as of June 2018:

Nearly all of employment growth at the national‑level was in population centres (98 %).

Although the unemployment rate increased only slightly to 6% over a 12-month period, unemployed individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher may have found it more difficult to find work if they looked for a job that matched their skill level.

Temporary employment accounted for nearly 20% of employment gains – including seasonal, term or contract, casual, and other forms of non‑permanent employment. Growth in temporary work has outpaced permanent employment since 1998-1999. The share of people employed on a temporary basis rose from 12% to 13.6% over this period.

As of June 2018, 31.5% of the working age population in Ontario were landed immigrants.

With the aging of the baby‑boom cohort, the share of the Canadian population who are aged 55 and older has been growing. Based on the 12‑month average ending in June 2018, 62.6% of 55-to-64‑year‑olds were employed. Employment for this group increased by 3.4% between 2016 to 2018, outpacing its 2% population growth rate. This group tended to be less active in the labour market in regions where they represented a larger proportion of the population.

Data Source

Statistics Canada. Labour force survey estimates to 2016 by CMA. CANSIM table 282-0129

Statistics Canada Provincial and economic region data available to 2016 in CANSIM table 282-0123 (based on 2011 census boundaries)

Last update: May 2019. Data updated annually.


Canadian Index of Well-Being. “Percentage of labour force employed” Canadian Index of Well-Being – accessed November 11, 2019

Peterborough employment trends – Peterborough and the Kawarthas Association of REALTORS® Inc. Retrieved from

Recent trends in Canada’s labour market: A rising tide or a passing wave? Retrieved from


Unemployment Rate in the Sustainable Development Goals

Click on the SDG to reveal more information

8. Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
8. Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

8. Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

Roughly half the world’s population still lives on the equivalent of about US$2 a day. And in too many places, having a job doesn’t guarantee the ability to escape from poverty. This slow and uneven progress requires us to rethink and retool our economic and social policies aimed at eradicating poverty.

A continued lack of decent work opportunities, insufficient investments and under-consumption lead to an erosion of the basic social contract underlying democratic societies: that all must share in progress. The creation of quality jobs will remain a major challenge for almost all economies well beyond 2015.

Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs that stimulate the economy while not harming the environment. Job opportunities and decent working conditions are also required for the whole working age population.

Related Unemployment Rate Targets


By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value