MRO Magazine

Employment in goods-producing sector down 6.3% over past six months

Ottawa, ON -- Employment grew by 36,000 in April, the result of an increase in self-employment, according to the Ap...


Ottawa, ON — Employment grew by 36,000 in April, the result of an increase in self-employment, according to the April 2009 Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada. Despite this increase, overall employment has fallen by 321,000 since the peak in October 2008. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.0% in April, remaining at its highest level in seven years, with the growth in employment coinciding with an increase in the labour force.

 

The employment gains in April occurred in information, culture and recreation; business, building and other support services; ‘other services’; and agriculture. Employment was unchanged in manufacturing and construction.

 

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Since last October, the goods-producing sector has declined sharply (-6.3%). By contrast, employment in the services-producing sector, which is traditionally less sensitive to economic slowdowns, has decreased only slightly (-0.5%) over the same period.

 

All the employment growth observed in April occurred in Quebec (+22,000) and British Columbia (+17,000), while employment declined in Nova Scotia (-4,100) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-2,800). There was little change in the other provinces.

 

The increase in employment in April was all in full-time work. Overall employment gains for the month were spread between adult men aged 25 and over, and older women aged 55 and over. Since October, employment has declined among men aged 25 to 54 and youths 15 to 24, whereas it has increased among older workers.

 

In April, the average hourly wage was 4.3% higher compared with the same month a year earlier.

 

Employment growth in service industries

 

In April, employment gains occurred in information, culture and recreation (+17,000); business, building and other support services (+15,000); ‘other services’ (+14,000); and agriculture (+9,000).

 

Since last October, overall employment has declined 1.9% as there were losses in a number of industries. The contraction during this period was especially strong in construction (-8.5%), manufacturing (-6.5%) and natural resources (-5.9%).

 

Self-employment rose by 37,000 in April, while the number of employees in the public and private sectors was little changed. Since October, self-employment has grown by 1.3%, whereas the number of employees has declined by 2.6% in the private sector and 2.0% in the public sector.

 

Full-time employment increased by 39,000 in April, while part-time employment was little changed. Full-time employment, however, has decreased by 2.5% since October, while part-time employment has increased slightly (+0.8%).

 

Quebec and British Columbia post employment gains in April

 

Quebec’s employment increase of 22,000 in April was accompanied by a slight rise in the unemployment rate to 8.4%, the result of more people in the labour force. Since last October, employment in Quebec has declined 0.8%, less than the 1.9% drop at the national level.

 

In British Columbia, employment rose by 17,000 in April. The unemployment rate remained at 7.4%, as there were more people in the labour force. Despite April’s gains, employment has declined by 52,000 (-2.2%) since October 2008.

 

In Nova Scotia, employment declined by 4,100 in April and the unemployment rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 9.2%. Since October, employment in the pr
ovince has fallen by 8,200 (-1.8%).

 

In April, employment held steady in Ontario and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.7%, its highest rate since April 1997. Since last October, employment losses in the province totalled 174,000 (-2.6%), more than half of Canada’s overall decline.

 

Employment in Alberta also remained unchanged in April, leaving the decline in employment since October at 42,000 (-2.1%).

 

Manitoba and Saskatchewan are the only provinces where employment has been little changed since October. In April, these two provinces posted the lowest unemployment rates in Canada, at 4.6% in Manitoba and 5.0% in Saskatchewan.

 

More adult men and older women aged 55 and over working in April

 

In April, the increase in employment was spread between adult men aged 25 and over (+25,000) and older women aged 55 and over (+12,000). Since last October, employment has declined for men aged 25 to 54 (-2.9%) and youths aged 15 to 24 (-4.7%), whereas it has increased for older workers (+0.9%).

 

The unemployment rate for youths declined 0.6 percentage points in April compared with March, the result of a decrease in the participation of youths in the labour force. However, at 14.2%, their unemployment rate continued to be the highest of all age groups.

 

A more detailed summary, Labour Force Information (71-001-X, free), is now available online at www.statcan.gc.ca for the week ending April 18. From the Publications module of the Statistics Canada website, under All subjects, choose Labour. The next release of the Labour Force Survey will be on June 5.