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Labour snapshot: December 2015

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Monday December 07, 2015 Written by 
Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey.
Employment decreased in November, as a result of losses in part-time work.

According to Statistics Canada’s latest Labour Force Survey, November’s overall employment decline of 36,000 (or 0.2 per cent) followed a similar-sized increase in October. The unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 7.1 per cent in November.

Compared with 12 months earlier, employment increased by 124,000 or 0.7 per cent, with all the growth in full-time work. Over the same period, the number of hours worked grew by 1.1 per cent.

According to Statistics Canada’s latest numbers, the national labour market statistics for last month were as follows:

  • Population of Canada: 29,401,200
  • Number of people in the labour force: 19,351,700
  • Labour force participation rate: 65.8%
  • Number of employed workers: 17,986,800
  • Number of full-time employed workers: 14,623,400
  • Number of part-time employed workers: 3,363,400
  • Employment rate: 61.2%
  • Number of unemployed workers: 1,352,300
  • Unemployment rate: 7.1%

Click through the interactive map above to explore how your province compares to other labour markets across the country.

Employment losses in several provinces

In Alberta, employment declined for the second consecutive month, down 15,000 in November. The unemployment rate increased by 0.4 percentage points to seven per cent – the highest rate since April 2010. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was virtually unchanged.

After three months of increase, employment in Manitoba fell by 5,400 in November. This decline pushed the unemployment rate up 0.8 percentage points to 6.1 per cent. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province was little changed.

Employment in New Brunswick decreased by 3,000 in November. The unemployment rate was little changed at 8.7 per cent as fewer people participated in the labour market. Compared with November 2014, employment in the province was little changed.

In Quebec, employment was little changed for the fourth consecutive month in November, and the unemployment rate was 7.5 per cent. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was up 30,000 (0.7 per cent) as a result of gains in full-time work.

In Ontario, employment was also little changed in November, and the unemployment rate was 6.9 per cent. In the 12 months to November, gains in full-time work were offset by declines in part-time work.

Employment in British Columbia was virtually unchanged in November, and the unemployment rate was 6.2 per cent. However, employment in this province has been on an upward trend since the spring, bringing year-over-year gains to 60,000 or 2.6 per cent. This represents the highest employment growth rate among the provinces.

Industry perspective

Employment in public administration declined by 33,000 in November, offsetting an increase of 32,000 in October that coincided with activities related to the federal election. On a year-over-year basis, employment in this industry was virtually unchanged.

The decline in public administration in November was seen across all provinces, mainly in federal public administration and temporary work. The decrease was concentrated among survey interviewers and statistical clerks, an occupational group that corresponds with the type of work done during the election. Similar movements in this occupation group were observed during previous federal elections and censuses.

In November, there were 16,000 fewer people employed in the wholesale and retail trade industry, with most of the decline in the wholesale sector. Employment in this industry was little changed compared with a year earlier.

Employment fell by 12,000 in information, culture and recreation in November, bringing employment back to a level similar to that of 12 months earlier.

The number of workers in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing was down 11,000 in November. Compared with 12 months earlier, however, employment in this industry was virtually unchanged.

In professional, scientific and technical services, employment increased by 18,000 in November. Employment in this industry trended up throughout most of the year, with gains totalling 56,000 (4.2 per cent) on a year-over-year basis.

In November, there were 17,000 more people employed in manufacturing, the first notable increase since May. In the 12 months to November, employment in this industry was little changed.

In construction, employment rose by 15,000 in November, but was virtually unchanged compared with the same month a year earlier.

Employment in agriculture was also up 15,000 in November. Before adjusting for seasonal factors, the number of people working in agriculture declined less than usual from October to November, resulting in a seasonally adjusted increase. On a year-over-year basis, employment was little changed in this industry.

In November, the number of employees declined by 41,000 in the private sector, and by 21,000 in the public sector. On the other hand, the number of self-employed increased by 26,000.

Compared with 12 months earlier, public sector employment was up 55,000 (1.5 per cent), driven by gains in health care and social assistance. Over the same period, the number of private sector employees and the number of self-employed were little changed.

Youth employment down

In November, employment fell by 24,000 among youths aged 15 to 24. However, as fewer youths participated in the labour market, their unemployment rate declined 0.6 percentage points to 12.7 per cent, the lowest rate since 2008. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment for youths decreased by 46,000 (1.8 per cent), while their population declined by 41,000 (0.9 per cent).

Among people aged 25 to 54, employment was virtually unchanged in both November and on a year-over-year basis. Compared with November 2014, the unemployment rate for people in this group increased 0.6 percentage points to 6.1 per cent as more of them searched for work.

Employment among people aged 55 and older was little changed in November. However, their unemployment rate increased 0.6 percentage points to six per cent as more of them were seeking work. In the 12 months to November, employment for this group rose 184,000 (5.3 per cent). Over the same period, the population of this group increased by 311,000 (3.1 per cent).

Want to dig deeper into the data? Click through the gallery below to compare provincial employment data collected over the last five years.

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