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Canada’s employment growth highest in natural resource sector — it’s up 11.8%

Ottawa, ON -- Employment edged up an estimated 22,000 in November 2006, the result of gains in part-time work, Stat...


Ottawa, ON — Employment edged up an estimated 22,000 in November 2006, the result of gains in part-time work, Statistics Canada reports in its latest Labour Force Survey. The unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage points to 6.3%, as more people entered the labour market in search of work. Following a pause over the summer months, employment has risen by 89,000 since August. So far this year, employment has grown by 1.7%.

The number of private sector employees jumped by an estimated 50,000 in November. So far in 2006, the number of employees in the private sector is up 3.1%, nearly four times the rate of growth in the public sector.

Employment in Alberta continued its upward trend in November. Since the start of the year, employment in the province is up 6.2% — more than three times the national rate of growth.

Gains in employment pushed Nova Scotia’s unemployment rate down 0.8 percentage points in November to a 30-year low of 7.4%.

ALBERTA CONTINUES TO DRIVE EMPLOYMENT GROWTH

Employment continued to increase in Alberta in November (+10,000). The unemployment rate edged up 0.1 percentage points to 3.1%, the result of more people entering the labour market in search of work. Since the start of 2006, employment in the province has increased by 112,000. Alberta continues to fuel employment growth in the country, accounting for 40% of the national increase so far this year.

While employment was little changed in Saskatchewan in November, it has grown by 4.2% since the start of the year. Similarly, employment in Newfoundland and Labrador has also been on an upward trend with growth of 3.9% over the past 11 months.

FASTEST GROWTH IN NATURAL RESOURCES

While there was little change across industries in November, several have shown strong growth over the course of the year. The natural resource sector has seen the fastest rate of employment growth, up 11.8% (+36,000). Most of this increase came from Alberta (+19,000) and British Columbia (+16,000) and was largely in mining, oil and gas extraction as well as activities that support this industry.

Other industries showing strong gains this year include business, building and other support services, up 6.9% (+46,000), mainly due to increases in business and employment services. Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing saw gains of 6.1% (+61,000), the result of hiring in monetary authorities, rental and leasing services and real estate. There was also growth in one of Canada’s largest industries, health care and social assistance, up 5.0% (+86,000) so far this year.

Despite little change in construction in November, employment in the industry has increased by 34,000 (+3.3%) so far this year. Strength in Alberta has driven much of the growth (+19,000).

CENTRAL CANADA LAGS BEHIND NATIONAL GROWTH RATE

Despite an employment increase in Ontario (+19,000) in November, growth in the province so far this year has been hindered by declines in manufacturing (-63,000). These losses were offset by gains in a number of service industries, including: trade; health care and social assistance; and finance, insurance, real estate and leasing. Since December 2005, overall employment in the province has increased by only 71,000 (+1.1%).

In Quebec, so far this year, employment growth has been dampened by losses in both manufacturing and trade resulting in growth of only 0.7%. As with Ontario, weaknesses were also offset by gains in the service sector.