Ontario Employment Outlook: May 2021 Report

Employment in Ontario decreased for the second consecutive month in May. This was due to the extended provincial-wide Stay-at-Home order that took effect in April. This required many non-essential businesses to close down or reduce business operations.


Here is a quick look at how employment in Ontario was impacted in May 2021, compiled by our staffing experts at Nova Staffing. All data is from the Ontario Government May 2021 Labour Market report.



Employment Summary

In May, there were 7.2 million employed individuals in Ontario. This was down 31,600 jobs (0.4%) from April. Ontario’s employment was 4.5% below its pre-COVID-19 February 2020 level.


As a result of the province’s stay-at-home order and COVID-19 restrictions, unemployment rose in May. There were 733,000 unemployed people in Ontario, up 2.3% from April.


Employment by Age

Youth employment (15-24) continued to be hit hardest by COVID-19 unemployment. Employment decreased by 23,000 jobs in May, with unemployment rising from 20.4% in April to 20.7%.


 Adult employment (25-54) fared better in May, adding 7,700 jobs. Unemployment for this demographic also decreased from 7.3% down to 7.0%. Senior employment (55+) was hit in May, losing 16,200 jobs. Unemployment rose from 7.2% in April up to 8.8% in May.


Employment by Sector

Employment in certain sectors was hit harder than others due to which ones were considered essential by the government. Industries that saw employment loss were Accommodation and Food Services (-116.3%), Wholesale and Retail Trade (-99.0%), Business, Building, and Other Support Services (-39.9%), and Construction (-36.1%).


Some industries, particularly those deemed essential during the lockdown, saw employment growth during May. This included Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (+53.3%), Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Rental and Leasing (+22.5%), Public Administration (+10%), and Manufacturing (+0.4%).


Employment by Region

Even though Ontario’s overall employment outlook dropped, sixteen of the province’s CMAs saw employment growth in May. This included Peterborough (+3.1%), Ottawa-Gatineau (+2.3%), St. Catharines-Niagara (+2.2%), Toronto (+1.6%), Barrie (+1.1%), Guelph (+1.1%), London (+1.0%), Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (+0.8%), Greater Sudbury (+0.3%), and Thunder Bay (+0.1%).


Other regions weren’t so lucky and saw employment decrease in May 2021. These regions were Oshawa (-4.0%), Kingston (-3.3%), Belleville (-2.3%), Hamilton (-2.1%), Windsor (-1.1%), and Brantford (-0.8%).


Is your company looking for help hiring top talent or need staffing solutions? Contact Nova Staffing! Our team of employment experts has over 200 years of combined industry experience and is here to help.


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