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Employment up by 290,000 in past year, but down 33,000 in manufacturing

Ottawa, ON -- Employment in Canada was unchanged in June 2008 for the second consecutive month, according to the la...


Ottawa, ON — Employment in Canada was unchanged in June 2008 for the second consecutive month, according to the latest Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada. The unemployment rate edged up 0.1 percentage points to 6.2%, still among the lowest in 30 years. Over the past 12 months, employment in Canada has grown by 1.7% or 290,000.

Part-time employment gains largely offset declines in full time in June. In the past 12 months, employment growth in part-time work has been faster than that of full time.

The only industry with a notable employment increase in June was professional, scientific and technical services, where monthly gains totalled 37,000. This industry has been among the top industries for employment growth since June 2007, along with construction; public administration; and health care and social assistance.

Industries with declines in June included: business, building and other support services; health care and social assistance; as well as construction. While manufacturing was unchanged in June, it was down 1.6% (-33,000) from a year ago.

Both Alberta and Nova Scotia experienced employment gains in June, pushing their employment rates to new record highs. Employment also rose in Manitoba.

In June, employment declined by 24,000 in Ontario. Despite this loss, employment in the province has grown 1.7% over the past 12 months, spurred by increases in construction and several service industries.

Since June 2007, average hourly wages have risen by 4.4% to $21.15. This rate of growth is double that of the most recent increase in the Consumer Price Index (+2.2%).

CONTINUED GROWTH IN PROFESSIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL SERVICES

Employment continued to grow in professional, scientific and technical services in June (+37,000). From a year ago, employment in the industry has grown by 7.5%, an increase of 86,000 workers. The biggest contributors to this year-over-year increase have been computer design services and legal services.

Business, building and other support services had the largest decline in employment in June, down 18,000, bringing employment in this industry to a level similar to that of a year ago.

Construction employment decreased by 16,000 in June, the first significant monthly decline in the industry in two years. Over the last 12 months, however, employment growth in the industry has been strong, up 7.2%.

Employment in health care and social assistance also decreased in June (-17,000). Despite this decline, employment in the industry has grown 2.8% from 12 months ago.

RECORD HIGH EMPLOYMENT RATES IN ALBERTA AND NOVA SCOTIA

Alberta saw employment increases of 10,000 in June. These gains pushed the employment rate in the province up to 72.2%, a new record high. Employment growth over the past 12 months has been the fastest of the provinces at 3.1%, largely driven by gains in professional, scientific and technical services; trade; agriculture; and finance, insurance, real estate and leasing.

Nova Scotia also experienced a new record-high employment rate of 59.3%, pushed by monthly gains of 6,200. Over the past 12 months, employment in the province has grown by 2.2%.

Manitoba was the only other province to report monthly gains in June, with an increase of 4,000. Since June 2007, employment growth in the province has been 1.9%.

In June, employment declined by 24,000 in Ontario, pushing the unemployment rate up 0.3 percentage points to 6.7%. The overall decline in employment was the result of a drop in full-time work (-46,000), which was tempered by gains in part time (+22,000). Since June 2007, part-time work in the province has been on the rise, growing by 10.3%. Overall, annual employment growth in Ontario has kept pace with the national average.

Employment declined in Newfoundland and Labrador in June. Over the last 12 months, however, employment grew by 1.8%, with strong gains in construction; public administration; as well as transportation and warehousing.

In June, the unemployment rate in Quebec decreased by 0.3 percentage points to 7.2%, due to a decline in labour force participation. Over the past 12 months, employment in the province has grown by 0.5%, well below the national average. Declines in trade and education offset growth in professional, scientific and technical services and construction as well as some other service industries.

MORE 17 TO 19 YEAR-OLD STUDENTS WORKING THIS SUMMER

There were 37,000 more students between the ages of 17 to 19 working in June 2008 compared with June 2007. These gains, which were evenly split between full- and part-time work, pushed their employment rate up 2.0 percentage points to 59.3%.

In June, the employment rate for students in the 20 to 24 age group was 70.8%, slightly lower than a year earlier.

THE TERRITORIES

The Yukon continued to enjoy a strong labour market in the second quarter of 2008, with an employment rate of 72.2%, up 2.2 percentage points from the same quarter last year.

Both the Northwest Territories and Nunavut saw declines in their employment rates in the second quarter of 2008 compared with the same quarter in 2007.

In the Northwest Territories, the employment rate fell 3.3 percentage points over the period to 70.0%. Despite this decline, the employment rate remained among the highest in Canada.

In the 10 largest communities of Nunavut, employment declined between the second quarters of 2007 and 2008, bringing the employment rate down 6.3 percentage points to 59.3%. At the same time, the unemployment rate increased 0.5 percentage points to 10.8%.
ABORIGINAL PEOPLE

Amongst Aboriginal people living off-reserve in the four western provinces, the employment rate in the second quarter of 2008 was 62.4%, up 0.7 percentage points from the same period of 2007. The employment rate among non-Aboriginal people rose 0.5 percentage points over this period to 67.9%.

Aboriginal people living off-reserve in British Columbia saw a large increase in their employment rate between the second quarters of 2007 and 2008, jumping 5.8 percentage points to 62.9%. Over the same period, the employment rate of non-Aboriginal people living in the province edged up to 64.2%.

In contrast, the employment rate of Aboriginal people living off-reserve in Alberta declined 1.3 percentage points to 68.0% between the second quarters of 2007 and 2008. At the same time, non-Aboriginal people saw an increase of 0.8 percentage points in their employment rate, which rose to 72.7%. Aboriginal people living in Alberta continued to have the highest employment rate of their counterparts in the West.

In Saskatchewan, Aboriginal people living off-reserve saw a more pronounced decline in their employment rate, which fell from 57.1% to 52.9% between the second quarters of 2007 and 2008. Over the same period, the employment rate among non-Aboriginal people in the province edged up 0.2 percentage points to 68.2%. Saskatchewan has the lowest employment rate among its off-reserve Aboriginal population of the western provinces.

In Manitoba the employment rate among Aboriginal people (61.9%) was little changed between the second quarters of 2007 and 2008. For non-Aboriginal people, the employment rate rose by 0.8 percentage points to 68.1%