Ottawa – Employment gains in Canada in 2013 amounted to 102,000, or 0.6%, the slowest December-to-December growth rate since 2009. In 2012, growth was 310,000 or 1.8% over the 12-month period, according to the year-end Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada.
Compared with 12 months earlier, the participation rate declined 0.4 percentage points to 66.4% in December as the labour force grew at a slower pace than the population. Over the same period, the employment rate fell 0.5 percentage points to 61.6%, while the unemployment rate was little changed.
From a provincial perspective, employment growth from December 2012 to December 2013 was fastest in Alberta (+3.3%), with steady gains throughout the year.
Employment rose by 2.5% in Saskatchewan, driven by gains in the first six months of the year. Compared with 12 months earlier, the unemployment rate declined 0.7 percentage points to 3.9%, the lowest among all provinces.
Employment also increased in New Brunswick compared with 12 months earlier, up 1.8%. The unemployment rate declined 1.1 percentage points over the year to 9.7%.
Following a peak at the beginning of the year, employment in Manitoba fell by 1.2% in 2013.
In Ontario, employment gains in the first half of the year were offset by the decline in December, leaving employment little changed compared with 12 months earlier. After trending down throughout most of the year, the unemployment rate increased to 7.9% in December, the same rate as that of December 2012.
Compared with 12 months earlier, employment was virtually unchanged in Quebec. The unemployment rate was also little changed, at 7.7% in December.
Over the 12-month period, employment in Newfoundland and Labrador was little changed. The unemployment rate in this province has gradually declined over the years, averaging 11.4% in 2013, the lowest annual rate recorded since comparable data became available in 1976.
In 2013, the only industries with employment growth were professional, scientific and technical services (+6.7%) and natural resources (+5.7%). At the same time, there were losses in agriculture (-4.5%), educational services (-3.3%), public administration (-3.1%) and manufacturing (-2.3%).
Compared with 12 months earlier, part-time employment grew by 83,000 or 2.5%, while full-time employment was relatively unchanged. During the same period, the number of hours worked increased by 0.7%.
Among the major demographic groups, only men and women aged 55 and over posted employment growth in 2013, up 4.8%, mostly the result of population aging. This segment of the labour force has seen increases in its labour-market participation rate since the mid-1990s, reaching 37.4% in December 2013.
Following a high in December 2012, employment among men aged 25 to 54 declined by 41,000 in December 2013. There was little change in employment among women in the same age group over the same period.
For people aged 15 to 24, both employment and the unemployment rate were little changed compared with December 2012.
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. The following data are not seasonally adjusted; therefore, comparisons should only be made on a year-over-year basis.
From the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013, employment in Yukon increased by 900 and the unemployment rate fell from 6.1% to 4.9%.
Over the same period, both employment and the unemployment rate were little changed in the Northwest Territories. In the fourth quarter of 2013, the unemployment rate was 8.2%.
In Nunavut, employment increased by 1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013, all in full-time work. The unemployment rate was 14.6%, relatively unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2012.