According to new data, Canada’s unemployment rate dropped to one of its lowest levels ever last month. Interestingly, the country’s rapidly growing legal cannabis industry played a notable role in this trend. And at this point, it seems likely that the industry will only continue to grow as demand for legal weed remains strong.
New Employment Stats
The newest employment stats are for November 2018, and they were recently published by Statistics Canada. According to these numbers, unemployment in Canada fell by 0.2 percentage points in November.
Overall, that drop put the unemployment rate at 5.6 percent across the board. Notably, Statistics Canada said that is the lowest it has been since employment data was first gathered back in 1976.
The report also said that employment rates were up in six Canadian provinces. Additionally, the report said that private sector jobs showed the most growth.
Meanwhile, public sector jobs remained more or less the same. Similarly, self-employed numbers also remained relatively unchanged.
Legal Weed Industry Showed Massive Growth
Interestingly, Statistics Canada devoted a sizable portion of its report specifically to the cannabis industry. After weed became legal on October 17, the country’s legal marijuana industry has seen strong growth.
In particular, Statistics Canada said that in November, there were a total of 10,400 cannabis related jobs.
That number marks a huge increase from last year’s numbers. More specifically, there were roughly 7,500 more weed related jobs in November 2018 than there were in November 2017. That equates to a 266 percent increase in just one year.
Statistics Canada broke down the weed industry’s employment numbers according to field, and along a number of specific demographic lines. Some of their key findings include:
- 58 percent of all jobs in the cannabis industry were in the agriculture industry. The remaining 42 percent of weed jobs were across other fields such as educational services, healthcare, and retail.
- Average hourly wage for workers in the legal marijuana industry was $29.58, almost three dollars higher than the national average of $27.03 per hour.
- In November, there were more men working in legal weed than women. Men accounted for 79 percent of the jobs in the marijuana industry while women made up the remaining 21 percent.
- The median age for employees in the cannabis industry was 35 years old. Meanwhile, the median age for all non-marijuana jobs is 40 years.
- Ontario had the most weed-related jobs, with somewhere around 5,700 jobs in November.
High Demand for Legal Weed
At this point, it appears that much of this growth comes in response to the massive demand for legal weed. When weed became legal in October, many shops saw lines extending out the door.
In fact, dispensaries and wholesalers around the country quickly ran out of product. Many had difficulties restocking inventory fast enough.
Ultimately, initial demand for legal weed was so high that many experts predict it could take anywhere from 12 to 18 months before the supply of legal marijuana and marijuana products can keep up with demand.
And in order to get there, the industry will likely need to expand, potentially opening the door to increased job opportunities.
Additionally, more and more colleges and universities are beginning to offer cannabis related courses and programs. This could add to the number of qualified workers entering the cannabis industry.