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Unemployment reaches lowest rate since November 2008

Ottawa - Employment in Canada has risen for the second consecutive month, up 43,000 in October 2014. This pushed the unemployment rate down 0.3 percentage points to 6.5%, the lowest rate since November 2008, reveals Statistics Canada in its...


Ottawa – Employment in Canada has risen for the second consecutive month, up 43,000 in October 2014. This pushed the unemployment rate down 0.3 percentage points to 6.5%, the lowest rate since November 2008, reveals Statistics Canada in its latest Labour Force Survey.

In the 12 months to October, employment rose by 182,000 (+1.0%), with the growth in September and October of this year accounting for two-thirds of this increase.

Compared with October 2013, part-time employment rose by 101,000 (+3.0%) and full-time employment was up 81,000 (+0.6%). Over the same period, the number of hours worked rose slightly (+0.4%).

All of the employment gains in October were among people aged 25 to 54, with most of the increase among women in this age group.

Provincially, employment rose in Ontario, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, while it declined in New Brunswick.

In October, employment grew in retail and wholesale trade; finance, insurance, real estate and leasing; manufacturing; and educational services. At the same time, employment was down in public administration, ‘other services’ and natural resources.

The number of private sector employees and self-employed workers increased in October, while the number of public sector employees fell.

More women aged 25 to 54 employed in October

In October, employment increased by 44,000 among people aged 25 to 54, with women accounting for 36,000 of this gain. However, the unemployment rate for women in this age group remained at 5.1% as more of them participated in the labour market. Among men aged 25 to 54, the unemployment rate was 5.8%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment for people aged 25 to 54 rose by 51,000, with all of the increase among men.

Employment was little changed among youths aged 15 to 24 in October. However, their unemployment rate declined 0.9 percentage points to 12.6% as fewer youths searched for work. This was a result of more youths reporting that they did not want work, were unavailable for work, or wanted work but did not look for work because they were attending school. On a year-over-year basis, youth employment was up 39,000 (+1.6%).

In October, employment among people aged 55 and older was little changed and their unemployment rate was 5.6%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment for this group increased by 91,000 (+2.7%), all the result of growth in the population of those aged 55 and older.

Employment gains in Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia

In Ontario, employment rose for the second consecutive month, up 37,000 in October, pushing the unemployment rate down 0.6 percentage points to 6.5%, the lowest rate since October 2008. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province increased 1.4%, above the national average of 1.0%.

In Manitoba, employment was up 8,000 in October, bringing the unemployment rate down 0.3 percentage points to 5.0%. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province rose by 11,000 (+1.8%), with most of the increase observed in October.

Employment in Nova Scotia increased by 4,100 in October, while the unemployment rate remained at 8.6% as more people participated in the labour market. In the 12 months to October, employment in the province was little changed.

In October, the number of employed people declined by 2,300 in New Brunswick. The unemployment rate was little changed at 9.3%, as the number of people participating in the labour market declined. On a year-over-year basis, employment was virtually unchanged.

In Quebec, employment was little changed in October and the unemployment rate was 7.7%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was down 30,000 (-0.7%).

In October, Saskatchewan and Alberta saw little change in employment; however, on a year-over-year basis, they had the fastest employment growth rates of all provinces (+3.3% and +2.6%, respectively).

Industry perspective

In October, employment increased by 39,000 in retail and wholesale trade. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this industry was little changed.

The number of people employed in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing was up 36,000 in October. On a year-over-year basis, employment in this industry was little changed.

In manufacturing, the number of workers in October rose by 33,000. This month’s gain brought manufacturing employment up slightly compared with a year earlier.

Employment in educational services increased by 22,000 in October, but was little changed compared with 12 months earlier.

The number of people employed in public administration fell by 38,000 in October, the first notable decline since January. On a year-over-year basis, employment in this industry was little changed.

In October, employment decreased by 26,000 in ‘other services,’ such as services provided by nannies and home support workers in ‘private households.’ Compared with October 2013, employment was little changed in this industry.

The number of people employed in natural resources was down 22,000 in October. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the industry declined by 24,000 (-6.2%).

Private sector employees increased by 71,000 in October, with notable gains in retail and wholesale trade, manufacturing, as well as finance, insurance, real estate and leasing. Self-employment also increased, up 26,000. At the same time, public sector employment fell by 54,000, mostly in public administration.

On a year-over-year basis, the number of private sector employees rose by 141,000, while public sector employment and self-employment were little changed.