Statistics Canada (StatsCan) has released its labour force data for May -- and there's some good news when it comes to Canada's unemployment rate.

Employment rose by 40,000 (+0.2%) during the month and the unemployment rate edged down to 5.1% -- a record low since at least 1976, as far back as the data goes. The rate fell from a previous record low of 5.2% in April. 

The unemployment rate for those aged 25 to 54 was 4.3% in May, matching the all-time low recorded in April 2022.

The employment increase was driven by gains in full-time work among young and core-aged women, says StatCan. The increase was spread across several industries, led by wholesale and retail trade, and was concentrated in Alberta. Furthermore, the participation rate -- which accounts for workers employed or looking for a job -- hit an all-time high of 85% for core-aged women in May.

Total hours worked were little changed in May, but were up 5.1% compared with 12 months earlier. Average hourly wages increased 3.9% (+$1.18 to $31.12) on a year-over-year basis -- something that likely contributed to more people seeking employment. This follows an increase of 3.3% in April. 

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The number of full-time jobs climbed by 135,000 in May, while part-time employment dropped by 96,000. As we recover from the pandemic and its never-ending restrictions, the service sector gained many new employees, with 81,000 jobs, with accommodation and food services adding 20,000 positions. The number of professional, scientific, and technical service jobs grew by 21,000. Educational services added 24,000 positions, and retail trade gained 34,000 positions in May. 

Meanwhile, transportation and warehousing lost 25,000 jobs, and the number of real estate, finance, insurance, rental and leasing jobs fell by 19,000 in May. The manufacturing sector was hard-hit, with 43,000 jobs lost. The good-producing sector lost 41,000 jobs in May. 

Employment increased in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Alberta. It declined in New Brunswick and was little changed in all other provinces, says StatCan.

The report also found that more than one-quarter of employees enjoy flexibility in the workplace. According to StatCan, 27.9% employees reported that they had the option to choose their work location for at least some time, including 13.9% who were able to choose all the time. Just under one in five employees are working from home exclusively, while the number of Canadian employees under hybrid work conditions increased slightly in May (+0.5 percentage points to 6.3%).

While rising inflation may leave some Canadians struggling to make ends meet, the good news is that the economy is clearly back in full swing after two years of low activity -- particularly on the travel and food and beverage front. Canadians want to make up for lost time; and with all this demand, there's no shortage of work for those looking to make an extra dollar.