Canadian Contractor

By Ali Ahmad, Ontario Construction Secretariat   

OCS reports increase in employment, permit value for May

Canadian Contractor Permits & Legal

July 27, 2023 – The Ontario Construction Secretariat released their update on employment and permits in the construction sector for May to June.

Employment increased from May to June, coming in just below record high levels. The unemployment rate decreased from 4.6 per cent to 3.5 per cent. Total permit value increased by 31.8 per cent, primarily led by the commercial sector.

From May to June, employment increased from 612,600 to 618,200. This is just under the all time high of 620,600 from July 2022. On the other hand, the labour force shrank slightly from the record number of 641,900 to 640,600(second highest on record).

The unemployment rate to decrease from 4.6 per centto 3.5 per cent. This is a relatively low unemployment rate, though it isn’t unusual to see a lower number during the summer months. The overall Ontario unemployment rate came in at 5.7 per cent, down from 5.9 per cent in May.


Total ICI permit value was up by 31.8 per cent from April to May ($1.37 – $1.8 billion). This was mainly due to the rebound in commercial building permit value ($537.7 million – $1.15 billion). Industrial permit value increased by about 10 per cent ($246.8 – $271.8 million), a relatively minor change for this sector. Institutional permit value declined by 34.3 per cent ($583.5 – $383.4 million), putting it back near the level from March.


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