The jobless rates are still dropping, but it’s a different story when you’re talking about those who are currently employed and are actively looking for work.
The number of people actively seeking work is at an all-time high, but the pace at which people are finding work has slowed considerably.
As of the end of January, nearly 13.6 million people were actively looking, according to Statistics Canada data.
And it’s not just those who aren’t working full-time, either.
The unemployment rate for people who are employed full- or part-time dropped to 7.4 per cent last month from 8.1 per cent a year earlier, according the Bank of Montreal.
That’s the lowest rate since the recession began.
And as of January 7, the job vacancy rate for Canadians aged 15 to 24 was 3.7 per cent, down from 3 per cent in February, Statistics Canada said.
The data is also good news for the Bank, which noted that the number of Canadians actively looking and actively seeking jobs dropped by 2.3 million last month, to about 1.9 million.
It’s not as though the job market is looking to fill every position, but those looking for a new job are far more likely to get one.
While there’s a clear link between jobless trends and the labour market, not every job search leads to a job.
And even when there are job openings, it’s still often a combination of factors that make it difficult to find a job, said David Williams, chief economist with CIBC World Markets.
The job market can also change depending on when a person is looking for one.
The economy has been relatively soft for some time, and many people have returned to work in the last month or so, Williams said.
But those who have had a hard time finding a job are often those who had been looking for them for months or even years.
That can leave some jobseekers feeling discouraged, especially when looking for new work that they think they could be a part of.
But that’s the exception to the rule.
In fact, a job search can help create jobs.
The more people who apply for a job at the same time as they are looking for another, the more likely they are to be hired, Williams explained.
A job search for the unemployed may also have a positive effect on the economy.
According to the Bank’s calculations, the economy added 4.9 per cent to its GDP in January, which is a positive number, Williams noted.
But the job search also creates jobs.
“When we look at the economy as a whole, if we take the jobs that have been created in the past month, it would add up to almost one-third of the GDP,” he said.
“If we add that to the unemployed, we’d get to one-quarter of GDP.”
That’s the way the economy should be.
But, Williams notes, it can change at any moment.
In the worst-case scenario, there could be some layoffs, as businesses struggle to meet demand.
In other words, some of the job creation will be short-lived.
In any case, a better-than-expected labour market has been a boon for the economy, especially in light of the global economic crisis.
So while the economy has continued to strengthen, the unemployment rate is at its lowest level in more than a decade.
This story has been updated to correct an error in the headline.