Ottawa -- Following two consecutive months of increases, employment in October 2012 was unchanged and the unemployment rate remained at 7.4% compared to the previous month, Statistics Canada reports in its latest Labour Force Survey.
Compared with 12 months earlier, employment increased 1.3% or 229,000, all in full-time work. The total number of hours worked also rose 1.3% over the same period.
In October, employment grew in Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador, while it fell in British Columbia and Manitoba. There was little change in the other provinces.
The number of public sector employees increased by 37,000, offset by a decline in private sector employment, which includes both private sector employees and the self-employed. Total gains over the previous 12 months were among both private sector employees (+157,000 or +1.4%) and public sector employees (+74,000 or +2.1%).
Employment in agriculture experienced a decline in October, while there was little change in the other industries.
The number of workers among the major demographic groups was virtually unchanged in October.
Employment in Quebec increased by 20,000 in October, all in part-time work, pushing the unemployment rate down 0.3 percentage points to 7.7%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was 1.7% higher.
In October, employment in Newfoundland and Labrador rose by 3,800, and the unemployment rate was 11.9%. Employment in the province increased 3.6% from 12 months earlier, the highest growth rate among the provinces.
The number of workers in British Columbia declined by 11,000 in October. Nevertheless, the unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points to 6.7%, as fewer people participated in the labour force. Year-over-year employment growth for the province was 1.3%.
Following two consecutive months of increases, employment in Manitoba fell by 7,300 in October, and the unemployment rate rose 0.6 percentage points to 5.6%. Despite this increase, Manitoba continued to have one of the lowest unemployment rates among the provinces. Compared with 12 months earlier, there was little change in overall employment.
In October, employment in Ontario was little changed, as a decrease in part-time work was mostly offset by an increase in full-time work. The unemployment rate rose 0.4 percentage points to 8.3%, as more people searched for work. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment growth in the province was 1.0%.
While employment in New Brunswick was little changed in October, the unemployment rate increased 0.6 percentage points to 11.6%, with more people searching for work. Compared with 12 months earlier, the unemployment rate in the province was up 2.2 percentage points.
Employment losses in agriculture
Following an increase in September, employment in agriculture fell by 16,000 in October. Employment in this industry was little changed compared with 12 months earlier.
The number of workers in manufacturing was little changed for the fifth consecutive month. Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of factory workers increased 5.2%, with most of the gains earlier in the year.
Little employment change among the major demographic groups
In October, employment among men aged 55 and over was little changed. However, with more men in this age group searching for work, the unemployment rate increased 1.0 percentage points to 7.3%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment among this group was up 87,000 (+5.1%), partly as a result of population aging.
Employment among women aged 55 and over was little changed in October. Compared with 12 months earlier, their employment increased by 102,000 (+7.4%), also partly a result of population aging.
Employment among those aged 25 to 54 was unchanged in October, and the year-over-year gains were 92,000 (+0.8%).
Employment among youths was little changed for the second consecutive month and was down by 52,000 (-2.1%) compared with 12 months earlier. Their unemployment rate was 14.7% in October.