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Unemployment rate holds steady for third month in a row


Ottawa – Statistics Canada reports in its latest Labour Force Survey that employment edged down in April 2015 (-20,000), as gains in full-time work were more than offset by losses in part time. The unemployment rate held steady at 6.8% for the third consecutive month.

In the 12 months to April, employment increased by 139,000 (+0.8%), with all of the growth in full-time work. Over the same period, the total number of hours worked increased by 0.9%.

In April, employment declined for women aged 55 and older and increased for their male counterparts. There was little change among the other demographic groups.

Provincially, employment fell in British Columbia and Nova Scotia, while it rose in Alberta as well as in Newfoundland and Labrador.

There were fewer people working in construction, retail and wholesale trade, as well as in information, culture and recreation in April. At the same time, there were more people working in business, building and other support services as well as in manufacturing.

Part-time employment declined by 67,000 in April, partly offset by an increase of 47,000 in full time.

In April, public sector employment declined and the number of self-employed workers edged down. There was little change in the number of private sector employees.

Employment declines among women aged 55 and older

For women aged 55 and older, employment declined by 15,000 in April and the unemployment rate edged up to 5.5%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment was little changed for this group.

For men in the same age group, employment increased by 12,000 in April. However, their unemployment rate was little changed at 5.9% as more of them participated in the labour market. Compared with a year earlier, employment among men aged 55 and older rose by 57,000 (+3.0%), with most of the gains occurring since December.

While employment among youth aged 15 to 24 was little changed in April, their unemployment rate rose 0.6 percentage points to 13.6%, as more of them searched for work. On a year-over-year basis, youth employment was little changed.

There was also little employment change for people aged 25 to 54 in April. However, their unemployment rate declined 0.2 percentage points to 5.6%, as fewer of them looked for work. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment for this group rose by 54,000 (+0.5%).

Employment down in British Columbia

Employment fell by 29,000 in British Columbia in April, pushing the unemployment rate up 0.5 percentage points to 6.3%. Despite this decline, employment in the province was little changed compared with 12 months earlier.

In Nova Scotia, employment decreased by 3,000 in April. At the same time, the unemployment rate was virtually unchanged at 9.2% as a result of fewer people participating in the labour market. Employment in the province has been trending downward since January.

Following little employment growth during the first quarter of 2015, employment in Alberta rose by 13,000 in April. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5% as more people participated in the labour market. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was up 53,000 (+2.4%).

Employment in Newfoundland and Labrador increased by 2,200 in April and the unemployment rate declined 0.7 percentage points to 12.6%. Despite more people working in April, employment was little changed compared with 12 months earlier.

In April, employment was little changed in both Quebec and Ontario. However, on a year-over-year-basis, employment in Quebec grew by 69,000 (+1.7%), with most of the gains occurring since December 2014. In Ontario, employment was virtually unchanged compared with 12 months earlier.

Industry perspective

Employment in construction declined for the second consecutive month, down 28,000 in April. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this industry was little changed.

There were 21,000 fewer people employed in retail and wholesale trade in April, bringing employment back to a level similar to that of April 2014.

Employment in information, culture and recreation was down 9,800 in April. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this industry decreased by 24,000 (-3.1%).

In business, building and other support services, employment rose by 11,000 in April, but was little changed compared with 12 months earlier.

Manufacturing employment increased by 10,000 in April. However, it was little changed compared with 12 months earlier.

In April, public sector employment declined by 20,000, while there was little change in the number of private sector employees. At the same time, the number of self-employed workers edged down.

In the 12 months to April, the number of private sector employees grew by 75,000 or 0.7% and the number of public sector employees increased by 64,000 or 1.8%. Over the same period, the number of self-employed workers was unchanged.


Bill Roebuck

Bill Roebuck

Bill Roebuck is the Editor and Associate Publisher of Machinery & Equipment MRO magazine and mromagazine.com.
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