Ottawa, ON — Following two months of little change, employment rose by 61,000 in September 2011, all in full time, Statistics Canada reported in its latest Labour Force Survey. This increase pushed the unemployment rate down 0.2 percentage points to 7.1%, the lowest rate since December 2008.
In the 12 months to September, employment has grown by 1.7% (+294,000), primarily in Ontario and Alberta. Over this period, full-time employment rose by 2.5% (+344,000), part-time work declined 1.5% (-50,000) and total actual hours worked increased 2.0%.
September’s employment increase was spread across a number of industries, with gains in educational services; professional, scientific and technical services; accommodation and food services; natural resources; and public administration. These gains were partially offset by declines in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing; manufacturing; and information, culture and recreation.
There were notable employment increases in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island in September.
In September, employment increased among the self-employed and public sector employees. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment growth in the private sector (+2.2%) was faster than that of the public sector (+1.1%), while self-employment rose slightly (+0.6%).
Service sector leads employment gains
Employment in educational services rose by 38,000 in September. Compared with a year earlier, employment in this industry is up 1.7% (+20,000).
The number of workers in professional, scientific and technical services rose by 36,000 in September, continuing an upward trend that began in the summer of 2009. Over the past 12 months, employment in this industry has increased by 4.1% (+53,000), one of the highest rates of growth among all industries.
In accommodation and food services, employment was up 31,000 in September. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment increased by 7.6% (+80,000), the highest growth rate among all industries.
Gains seen in natural resources sector
Following two consecutive months of decline, employment in natural resources increased by 17,000 in September. This gain brings employment in this industry to the same level as 12 months earlier.
There were also employment gains in public administration (+14,000), bringing employment back to its level of September 2010.
Employment fell by 35,000 in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing. Compared with a year earlier, employment in this industry is down by 1.4% (-15,000).
Employment in manufacturing down
Following little change in the previous three months, employment in manufacturing was down 24,000 in September. This decline leaves employment slightly above its level of September 2010 (+0.8% or +13,000).
There were also declines in information, culture and recreation (-22,000). Despite September’s decline, employment in this industry increased by 1.5% (+12,000) compared with 12 months earlier.
While employment in construction was little changed in September, it was up 4.1% (+50,000) from a year earlier, one of the highest growth rates of all industries.
Large gains in British Columbia
Employment in British Columbia rose by 32,000, all in full-time work. This was the first notable employment gain since July 2010. The unemployment rate fell by 0.8 percentage points to 6.7% in September.
In Saskatchewan, employment increased by 4,000 in September. Employment in the province is up 0.9% compared with 12 months earlier, lower than the national average of 1.7%.
Employment increased by 2,700 in New Brunswick. Despite this gain, employment in the province was 0.5% lower than 12 months earlier.
While employment in Alberta was little changed in September, over the year, employment has grown by 4.8% (+98,000), entirely in full-time work.
Employment in Quebec was unchanged in September. With fewer people searching for work, the unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage points to 7.3%. Compared with September 2010, employment increased by 0.6%.
Ontario employment was little changed for the second consecutive month and the unemployment rate was 7.6%. Over the past 12 months, employment increased by 2.0% (+136,000), above the national growth rate of 1.7%.
Increases among core-aged and older workers
Employment increased among workers aged 25 to 54 in September (+25,000), bringing growth over the previous year to 1.2% (+146,000).
In September, employment grew by 21,000 among workers aged 55 and over. Employment for this age group is up 2.7% (+81,000) in the past 12 months.
Employment among youths aged 15 to 24 was up slightly, bringing growth since September 2010 to 2.8% (+68,000).
Quarterly update for the territories
The Labour Force Survey also collects labour market information about the territories. This information is produced monthly in the form of three-month moving averages. Not all estimates are seasonally adjusted; therefore, comparisons should only be made on a year-over-year basis.
Employment in the Northwest Territories rose by 1,500 (+6.7%) from the third quarter of 2010 to the same period in 2011. Employment was little changed in both Yukon and Nunavut.
In the third quarter of 2011, the unemployment rate was 7.4% in the Northwest Territories, 4.9% in Yukon and 17.2% in Nunavut.