MRO Magazine

November employment rate reaches another record high

Ottawa, ON -- Statistics Canada reports that employment rose by an estimated 43,000 in November, pushing the employ...


Human Resources

December 10, 2007
By MRO Magazine

Ottawa, ON — Statistics Canada reports that employment rose by an estimated 43,000 in November, pushing the employment rate to another record high (63.8%). So far this year, employment has increased 2.3% (+388,000), stronger than the 1.8% increase seen over the same period in 2006. As more people entered the labour force in November, the unemployment rate moved up 0.1 of a percentage point to 5.9%.

Employment growth in November was a mix of full- and part-time work, with notable increases in British Columbia, Quebec, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.

Following three months of strong increases in the public sector, November’s employment gains were mostly in the private sector. However, employment growth in the public sector (+6.3%) has continued to outpace that of the private sector (+0.9%) for the past 12 months.

Four industries recorded employment increases in November: transportation and warehousing; business, building and other support services; educational services; and natural resources. Gains were concentrated among men aged 25 to 54 years.

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Manufacturing continued its slump in November. So far this year that is, from December 2006 to November 2007 factory employment losses have totalled an estimated 98,000, with most of the declines in Quebec and Ontario.

Growth in average hourly wages remained strong in November, with a year-over-year increase estimated at 4.2%, well above the most recent increase in the Consumer Price Index (+2.4%).

According to the most recent international data available, Canada’s employment rate was higher than that of the United States and most European countries in the second quarter of 2007. Among European countries, only Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden had higher rates of employment.

PRIVATE SECTOR GAINS IN NOVEMBER

In November, employment was up in transportation and warehousing (+17,000); business, building and other support services (+15,000); educational services (+14,000); and natural resources (+6,000).

Manufacturing continued to slump in November with losses of 16,000. So far this year, factory employment losses have totalled an estimated 98,000, mostly in wood; fabricated metal; and furniture products, as well as in motor vehicle and parts manufacturing.

November’s employment increase was primarily among private sector employees (+49,000). There were continued public sector gains (+19,000) in November, and declines among the self-employed (-25,000). Over the previous 12 months, however, the employment increase was strongest in the public sector (+6.3%), followed by self-employed (+5.6%), while employment in the private sector grew by only 0.9%.

Compared to November 2006, more public sector employees were working in public administration (municipal and federal); health care and social assistance (nursing care facilities and hospitals); education (primary and secondary schools); and in utilities (electric power generation, transmission and distribution). Most of these employment gains were in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.

BRITISH COLUMBIA AND QUEBEC PICK UP THE BULK OF THE GAINS

Following several months of slow growth, British Columbia added an estimated 26,000 workers to its workforce in November, all in full time, pushing its employment rate to a record high of 63.9%. Almost half of this increase was in construction. Since the start of the year, employment has risen 80,000 (+3.6%) in the province, led by trade; construction; information, culture and recreation; and transportation and warehousing.

Despite manufacturing declines, employment in Quebec increased 19,000 in November, all in part time, with gains spread across the service sector. So far in 2007, Quebec’s employment rate has been trending up, reaching a new record high of 61.4% in November.

Employment in New Brunswick rose by 5,000 in November. So far in 2007, employment has increased 4.2%, the fastest pace of growth among all provinces, with gains mostly in full time. This province also experienced a large increase in its employment rate, up 2.0 percentage points since the start of the year, reaching a record high of 60.0% in November.

Following losses earlier in the year, Saskatchewan experienced employment gains for the third consecutive month, up by 5,000 in November. Despite these recent gains, employment was up only 0.9% in the first 11 months of 2007. Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate in November remained one of the lowest in the country at 4.0%, behind only Alberta’s (3.6%).

Following two months of strong growth, employment in Ontario was little changed in November. As more people entered the labour force, Ontario’s unemployment rate increased 0.2 of a percentage point to 6.2% in November.

Alberta’s employment remained unchanged for the third consecutive month, leaving total growth so far in 2007 at 3.2% (+62,000). This is significantly slower than the pace of growth observed over the same period in 2006 (+5.8%).

STRONG GROWTH FOR MEN IN NOVEMBER

An estimated 33,000 more men aged 25 to 54 were working in November. Despite this increase, so far in 2007 employment growth has been slightly better for women (+1.6%) than for men (+1.2%) in this age group. Strong employment gains in the last three months for both men and women helped bump up this age group’s employment rate to a record high of 82.6% in November.

There were also more youths (ages 15 to 24) working in November (+15,000), all in part-time positions, bringing their gains to 2.2% (+55,000) since the start of the year. Despite the November increase, more youths were in search of work, pushing their unemployment rate up 0.4 of a percentage point, to 11.5%.