Core Facts

  • Population:  36.4M
  • GDP:  USD 1,553 billion
  • GDP per head:  USD 51,100
  • Workforce:  18M
  • Unemployment (2017):  6.5%
  • Average wages in manufacturing (2017):  CAD 26 per hour


In Canada, the labour laws and employment standards applying to an employment contract depend on the business sector concerned.  If the sector is regulated at the federal level the federal Canada Labour Code will apply.  Federally regulated sectors include banking, shipping, air transport, road and railways, telecommunications, broadcasting, grain mills, uranium mining and fisheries.

For employment relationships in all other sectors, the labour rules are set out at provincial or territorial levels determined by the place of work. If an employer has multiple facilities it must comply with provincial variations.  There is much consistency across the regions but there are minor variations covering such matters as minimum wages, holiday entitlements and entitlements on termination.

Federally regulated employees account only for approximately ten per cent of the Canadian workforce. Ninety per cent of employees are regulated at regional level.