Ottawa – Employment across Canada fell by 46,000 in December 2013, the result of declines in full-time work, Statistics Canada reports in its latest Labour Force Survey. The unemployment rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 7.2% as more people searched for work.
Dampened by the decline in December, employment gains in 2013 amounted to 102,000 or 0.6%. Employment growth averaged 8,500 per month in 2013, compared with 25,900 in 2012.
Provincially, employment in December declined in Ontario and Alberta, while it increased in British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Nationally, there were fewer people working in educational services, “other services,” agriculture as well as natural resources. At the same time, employment increased in health care and social assistance.
In December, self-employment declined, while there was little change among public sector and private sector employees. Compared with 12 months earlier, all the employment gains were among private sector employees.
Fewer men and women aged 25 to 54 were employed in December, while employment increased among women aged 55 and over.
Employment down in Ontario and Alberta
In Ontario, employment fell by 39,000 in December, pushing the unemployment rate up 0.7 percentage points to 7.9%.
The number of people working in Alberta declined by 12,000 in December. However, the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.8% as fewer people participated in the labour market.
In December, there were 13,000 more people working in British Columbia. The unemployment rate in the province was virtually unchanged at 6.6% as more people participated in the labour market.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, employment increased by 1,900 in December, and the unemployment rate fell 1.5 percentage points to 10.8%.
Despite little change in employment in Quebec, the unemployment rate increased 0.5 percentage points to 7.7% as more people looked for work.
Declines in several industries
In December, 19,000 fewer people worked in educational services, offsetting an increase over the previous two months.
There were 15,000 fewer people employed in the “other services” industry, such as personal care services as well as civic and social organizations. Employment also declined in agriculture, down 9,800, and in natural resources, down 8,000.
Health care and social assistance was the only industry with employment gains in December, increasing by 22,000.
Employment losses among 25 to 54 year olds
In December, employment decreased by 38,000 for men and women aged 25 to 54, and their unemployment rate increased 0.4 percentage points to 6.1%.
At the same time, employment rose for women aged 55 and over, up 14,000.
Despite little change in employment among youths aged 15 to 24, the unemployment rate increased 0.6 percentage points to 14.0% as more youths searched for work.