Ontario Employments Statistics: Oh, How Things Change


Canada’s employment numbers are on a teeter-totter; every month they’re up and down. A look at employment numbers in August 2018 versus July 2018 reveals how much things can change.

Statistics Canada reports that the unemployment rate went up 0.2 of a percentage point from 5.8% to 6.0% in August 2018. You might think that doesn’t seem like much, but it is interesting to look at the figures behind the percentages; they are what should be of interest to the HR practitioner.

Across Canada there was an astonishing loss of 92,000 part-time positions in August, but on the other hand 40,400 new full-time positions were created. It could be argued that though more jobs have been lost than created, an increase in full-time positions represents movement towards higher quality, more secure, jobs.

Another interesting employment statistic is that Ontario lost a whopping 80,100 jobs in August 2018, having gained 60,600 in July. An even more alarming static is the loss of 22,100 positions in the professional fields. These jobs in sciences and the technical industry are supposed to be in demand, and in theory a little more secure than those in other fields, but that may not be the case.

Click here to read the full CBC article on August’s job numbers.

So, what do all these employment numbers mean to the HR practitioner? It’s very hard to know if we’re seeing a blip or the start of a downward trend. However, what is certain is that HR departments need to be aware of monthly employment numbers as they shift, and develop proactive recruitment and HR planning strategies that enable future labour shortages or surpluses to be addressed.


Discussion Questions:

  1. What could be the cause of such drastic changes in Canadian employment levels?
  2. If you were called into an organization as a recruitment consultant, what steps would you recommend the HR department take to be proactive?
  3. How have these lower employment numbers affected Canadian wage rates?
  4. Identify three things an employer can do if they feel a labour surplus issue is on the horizon for their organization. Identify the pros and cons of each strategy.




Wading Through the Hiring Pool

The Benefits of Expanding Your Recruitment Strategies.

A wise person once said, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  Some say this quote is from Albert Einstein, or perhaps Mark Twain, or Ben Franklin – Click here for more on this mystery! Whoever said it is not as important as what it means. While most of us have heard this insight we fail to apply it! This holds true for HR professionals trying to recruit new employees.

A recent report from the Career Advisory Board states that 75% of Recruiters and Hiring Managers wouldn’t hire outside of their local geographical area. Additionally, the report found that only 7% of those job seekers have the right combination of skills required.

Click Here to Read the Article

If so few Hiring Managers and Recruiters think there is not enough qualified talent in their area, why are they still recruiting in their own backyards?

A majority of companies say they will not hire outside their geographical area, but they also say they cannot find the suitable candidates in their geographical area. It is this type of limited thinking that creates a significant barrier prohibiting the success of an organizations HR recruitment practices. Having a 7% success rate for finding a skilled and qualified talent pool leaves us wondering, where is the other 93%?

It should be time for HR to expand its thinking on recruitment and go beyond the narrow, shallow hiring boundaries to explore the depths of available talent pools outside one’s own familiar backyard.

Click Here to Watch a Video


Discussion Questions:

  1.  Why do you think most organizations are reluctant to hire outside their local geographical areas?
  2. What would be some of the additional costs of recruiting employees outside the organizations’ local geographical area?
  3. If you were presenting a business case to your VP of HR about sourcing employees from other locations, what strategies would you present?