Statistics Canada February 2020 Labour Force Survey Report

By on March 9, 2020 at 8:59am






    Unemployment Rate
  March '19 5.8%
  April '19 5.7%
  May '19 5.4%
  June '19 5.5%
  July '19 5.7%
  August '19 5.7%
  September '19 5.5%
  October '19 5.5%
  November ’19 5.9%
  December ’19 5.6%
  January '20 5.5%
  February '20 5.6%

*Source: Statistics Canada


**Source: Statistics Canada, Seasonally Adjusted, February 2019 – January 2020



39% of senior managers said they discuss pay at the first in-person interview.

25% said they wait for the second meeting.

Only 36% of workers in Canada tried to negotiate a higher salary with their last job offer.


Source: Robert Half survey of more than 600 senior managers and 500 workers in Canada.

© 2021 Robert Half.

Statistics Canada recently released the February 2020 Labour Force Survey, reporting little overall change in employment for the month (up 30,300 or 0.2 per cent), with the unemployment rate increasing 0.1 per cent to 5.6 per cent.


Highlights in February

  • Compared with 12 months earlier, employment rose by 245,000 (+1.3 per cent), the result of gains in full-time work.
  • Over the same period, hours worked were up 2.3 per cent.
  • In February, hours worked in British Columbia and Alberta rebounded following declines in January related to severe weather conditions. 

Regional Highlights 

  • Employment in Quebec increased for a third consecutive month, up by 20,000 in February. The unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage points to 4.5 per cent, the lowest rate in the province since comparable data became available in 1976.
  • In Manitoba 3,200 more people were employed in February, and the unemployment rate was virtually unchanged at 5.0 per cent. Employment in the province has trended up since December, bringing year-over-year gains to 9,700 (+1.5 per cent).
  • While employment held steady in British Columbia and Ontario in February, the unemployment rate rose notably as more people searched for work. The rate increased by 0.5 percentage points to 5.0 per cent in British Columbia and by 0.3 percentage points to 5.5 per cent in Ontario.
  • In Alberta, employment increased by 11,000, mostly among youth. The unemployment rate was little changed at 7.2 per cent.

What employers need to know

When you’re moving fast to staff open roles, it’s easy to not give a promising candidate’s resume the attention it deserves. After quickly reading the document and confirming it lists most of the basic requirements, you may be tempted to set up an interview ASAP.

However, a hasty review process could lead to wasted time — or a bad hire. So be sure to pause long enough to take a full look at the job seeker’s resume. As part of that process, you’ll want to:

  • Identify any unexplained employment gaps. Does the candidate have long breaks between jobs? If so, you’ll want to find out why.
  • Take note of excessive job hopping. This could be a sign of a professional’s ambition or, perhaps, a lack of commitment.
  • Check for careless mistakes, like typos. A messy resume could signal weak communication skills, poor attention to detail or disinterest.
  • Look out for fluff. Too much emphasis on hobbies or interests suggests the candidate is trying to fill space.

If you have questions about key details, consider setting up a phone interview to address your concerns head-on. After that, if you still feel confident about the candidate’s potential, move swiftly to set up an in-person interview.

What job seekers need to know

It goes without saying that writing a good resume is critical to your job search success. But a good resume alone may not be enough to score an interview. 

What else could help give you an edge? Strategic use of social media and other online tools and outlets, according to a recent Robert Half survey of senior managers. 

Nearly two in five respondents (37 per cent) said they are most impressed when job candidates network on social media with employees at a target company. That said, take care in your approach. For example:

  • Before reaching out to anyone, confirm the social media profiles you use for job-hunting purposes are up to date, professional-looking and include relevant career details.
  • When sending connection requests to professional contacts on LinkedIn, be sure to personalize the message and explain why you’re getting in touch.
  • As a general rule, don’t send Facebook friend requests to hiring managers.
  • On Twitter and Instagram, only follow the professional accounts of potential contacts.  

Our research also found that 43 per cent of senior managers are impressed by candidates who provide access to an online portfolio or personal website. So, consider creating and sharing these items with potential employers, if doing so makes sense for the type of role you’re after. 

Lastly, don’t overlook the value of creating a well-written cover letter to accompany your resume when you have the opportunity to do so. Well over half (60 per cent) of the senior managers we surveyed said they find it helpful to review this document when evaluating candidates. 

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