Employment Continues to Show Strength

28 September 2023

JobsTO Labour Lowdown.  September 2023

Employment rates in Toronto held steady for a second consecutive month in August according to Statistics Canada with the employment rate declining by 0.3% to 67%.   Across Canada, on a year-over-year basis, average hourly wages rose 4.9% (+$1.56 to $33.47) in August, following an increase of 5.0% in July. Total hours worked were up by 0.5% in August and by 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. 

Over the past 12 months, Toronto CMA saw significant employment increases in the Wholesale and Retail Sector accompanied by moderate increases in hospitality, health care, and education. Employment in construction and finance sectors was fairly stagnant. Toronto CMA saw small declines in the manufacturing and science sectors. 

Job posting data for Toronto remained steady during August.  Both the number of postings and companies looking for workers has been constant since June 2023.

The science and technology sector continues to show strength through out August.  There also been considerable strength in the retail and wholesale trade job data.  The strength of this sector, paired with robust employment growth indicated in the LFS runs counter against some employment forecasts which had projected employment declines in this industry.   

JobsTo data further emphasizes the challenges this industry has in attracting and retaining workers.  Retail Salesperson remained the hardest to fill occupation in Toronto. As in previous months, cooks and other food workers also appear to be high demand within Toronto’s labour market.

Job posting data for August indicated that the most common job requirements was Microsoft Office, followed by First Aid and Criminal Record checks.

Working from Home

In Canada, the proportion of workers who usually work exclusively from home was 13.6% in August 2023, down 3.2 percentage points compared with August 2022 (population aged 15 to 69, not seasonally adjusted). Over the last 12 months, the largest declines in the share of workers working exclusively from home were recorded in public administration (-11.9 percentage points to 20.8%); finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing (-7.9 percentage points to 30.2%); and professional, scientific, and technical services (-6.5 percentage points to 40.8%).

In August, 10.3% of workers, or 2.1 million Canadians, had a hybrid work arrangement—that is, they usually work partly from home and partly from a location other than home. This was similar to the proportion recorded in May 2023 (10.0%) but was up 1.7 percentage points compared with August 2022 (8.6%)

Spotlight on Toronto’s Science and Technology Sector

The Science and Technology Sector is comprised of companies engaged in activities in which human capital is the major input. The main components of this sector are legal services industries, accounting and related services industries, architectural, engineering, and related services industries, surveying and mapping services industries, design services industries, management, scientific and technical consulting services industries, scientific research and development services industries, and advertising services industries.

Not unexpectedly, Toronto CMA is one of North America’s science and technology hubs.  The sector provides employment to over 500,000 workers here, and the industry contributes $55 billion dollars a year to Ontario’s economy.   

These establishments make available the knowledge and skills of their employees, and the distinguishing feature of this sector is the fact that most of the industries grouped in it have production processes that are almost wholly dependent on worker skills. In most of these industries, equipment and materials are not of major importance. Thus, the establishments classified in this sector sell expertise. Much of the expertise requires a university or college education, though not in every case.

A review of Jobs TO data related breaks down the demand by the sub-sectors of Science and Technology.  The largest subsectors are in science and technical consulting and accounting services; each with well over 2,000 job postings during August. The Accounting subsector is comprised of establishments primarily engaged in auditing accounting records; designing accounting systems; preparing financial statements; developing budgets; preparing tax returns; processing payrolls; bookkeeping; and billing.  The science and technology consulting sub-sector is comprised of establishments primarily engaged in providing expert advice and assistance other organizations on management, environmental, scientific, and technical issues.

Further examination of August Job Posting data suggests that the strongest growth is in the Accounting sub-sector and in the Science and Technical consulting sub-sector.

Science & Technological ServicesJuly to Aug 2023 % Change
Legal Services-9%
Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping and Payroll Services27%
Architectural, Engineering and Related Services-10%
Specialized Design Services-3%
Computer Systems Design and Related Services-9%
Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Services19%
Scientific Research and Development Services-6%
Advertising, Public Relations and Related Services-15%
Other Professional, Scientific and Technical Services-1%

For more information, please see our Jobs TO Data.


  • TWIG

    Toronto Workforce Innovation Group is a non-profit and independent research organization devoted to finding and promoting solutions to employment-related problems in the Toronto Region.

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Employment Continues to Show Strength

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