Media Release: FAO releases report on Ontario's labour market in 2023


TORONTO, February 28, 2024  Today, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) released a report that reviews Ontario's labour market performance in 2023.

Ontario’s labour market moderated in 2023 with employment rising by 183,200 jobs (2.4 per cent), following two years of record job gains. The annual unemployment rate in the province inched up from 5.6 per cent in 2022 to 5.7 per cent in 2023.

Ontario's job gains were broad-based across most demographic groups, types of employment, industries and major cities. Among broad age groups, core-aged workers (25-54 years) had the fastest pace of job gains at 2.7 per cent, and their labour market participation rate reached a record high of 88.3 per cent in 2023.

Employment in the public sector increased at a slower pace than the private sector (1.6 per cent versus 3.3 per cent) in 2023, after recording faster job gains the previous two years. By industry, employment increased in 14 of the province’s 16 major industries, led by health care and social assistance (up 37,600 or 4.0 per cent). All major cities in Ontario saw an increase in employment in 2023, except for Hamilton (-1.1 per cent) and Oshawa (-1.0 per cent).

Following two years of wage growth lagging inflation, the average hourly wage of Ontario workers increased by 5.1 per cent in 2023, above the 3.8 per cent consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate. Wage growth was above inflation for all major demographic groups and types of employment except part-time workers.

Find our full report on our website, here.

Quick facts:

  • Young workers had the slowest pace of job growth in 2023, as a 4.7 per cent increase in male youth employment was partially offset by a 1.2 per cent decline in female youth employment.
  • The number of self-employed Ontarians declined by 9,800 (-0.9 per cent) in 2023, marking the third drop in the past four years. Self-employed workers accounted for 13.6 per cent of total employment in 2023, the lowest share since 1991.
  • Windsor (8.2 per cent), Ottawa-Gatineau (5.7 per cent), and Kingston (5.1 per cent) had the fastest pace of job creation in 2023.
  • In 2023, Ontario recorded the fifth lowest unemployment rate in the country, trailing Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
  • Job vacancies trended lower in 2023, declining 24.9 per cent compared to the previous year, with declines in all industries except utilities.

About the FAO:

Established by the Financial Accountability Officer Act, 2013, the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) provides independent analysis on the state of the Province’s finances, trends in the provincial economy and related matters important to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

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For further information, please contact:

Sophia Zhu l 416 931 5498 l l