MRO Magazine

Full-time employment continued its downward trend in June

Ottawa, ON -- Employment was little changed in June 2009, leaving total net losses during the last three months at ...


Human Resources

July 13, 2009
By MRO Magazine

Ottawa, ON — Employment was little changed in June 2009, leaving total net losses during the last three months at 13,000, much smaller than the 273,000 decline in the first three months of the year, according to the latest Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada. The unemployment rate edged up 0.2 percentage points to 8.6% in June, as more people looked for work.

 

Full-time employment continued its downward trend in June, offsetting gains in part time. Since employment peaked in October 2008, full-time losses (-454,000) have been only partially offset by part-time gains (+84,000), leaving total employment down by 370,000.

 

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Self-employment rose in June, while the number of employees in the private sector decreased. Since October, self-employment has grown by 1.5%, whereas the number of employees has fallen, especially in the private sector.

 

Youth aged 15 to 24 were hard hit in June, with losses of 33,000. Their unemployment rate went up a full percentage point to 15.9%, the highest rate in 11 years. Employment losses for youth in June were offset by gains among people aged 55 and over.

 

Employment was virtually unchanged in June in all provinces except Newfoundland and Labrador, where it went up.

 

There were gains in information, culture and recreation in June, as well as in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing. Industries with notable declines were manufacturing and business, building and other support services.

 

Average hourly wages were up 3.5% from June 2008, similar to the year-over-year increase in May.

 

Slower pace of decline in last three months

 

While employment remains well below its October 2008 peak, there was a notable shift in the pace of the downward trend in employment in the last three months. Total net losses were 13,000 for the last three months, much less than the 273,000 decline in the first three months of this year.

 

During the first three months of 2009, employment fell in almost all industries, especially in manufacturing and construction, whereas over the last three months, employment increased in most service industries, stabilized in construction but continued to decline in manufacturing.

 

By province, the greatest change in the employment trend occurred in Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta. In the first three months of 2009, employment fell sharply in all three provinces, in contrast to the last three months, when employment rose in Quebec and British Columbia, and held steady in Alberta. In Ontario, employment continued to fall over the last three months, although at a slower pace.

 

More Canadians working for themselves

 

Self-employment rose by 37,000 in June, while the number of employees in the private sector decreased by 39,000. Since October, self-employment has grown by 1.5%, whereas the number of employees has declined by 3.3% in the private sector and 1.4% in the public sector.

 

June’s employment gains were in information, culture and recreation (+26,000); and finance, insurance, real estate and leasing (+21,000).

 

Manufacturing continued its downward trend in June (-26,000), with most of the month’s declines in Quebec. Nationally, this sector has experienced the sharpest rate of decline of all industries (-10.7%) since October 2008, with losses mainly in Ontario, Al
berta and British Columbia.

 

There were also losses in business, building and other support services in June (-14,000).

 

Employment little changed in most provinces

 

Newfoundland and Labrador was the only province with employment gains in June, up 2,500. At the same time, the unemployment rate edged up to 15.6% as there were more people in the labour force.

 

Full-time losses in Ontario in June (-56,000) were offset by part-time gains (+57,000), leaving total employment unchanged. The unemployment rate edged up to 9.6%, the highest rate in 15 years. Since last October, employment in the province has fallen by 232,000 (-3.5%), with over half of the losses in manufacturing (-126,000).

 

While employment in Saskatchewan was virtually unchanged in June, this was the only province with an upward trend in employment since October (+1.0%). At 4.6% in June, the unemployment rate in Saskatchewan was the lowest of all provinces.

 

Employment in Quebec was unchanged in June and the unemployment rate was 8.8%. Since October, employment in Quebec has fallen by only 0.8%, a rate of decrease much lower than the national average (-2.2%).

 

Youth employment falls

 

In June, employment for youths aged 15 to 24 fell by 33,000, pushing their unemployment rate up a full percentage point to 15.9%, the highest rate in 11 years. Since the peak last October, employment among youths has fallen the fastest of all age groups, down 6.4%.

 

Employment losses in June for youths were offset by gains among workers aged 55 and over, whose employment increased 33,000. Since last October, employment growth has been steady for older workers (+78,000 or +2.9%), particularly among women. Older workers are the only age group that have added to their numbers since the start of the economic downturn.

 

Summer job market challenging for students

 

From May to August, the Labour Force Survey collects labour market information about young people aged 15 to 24 who were attending school full time in March and intend to return to school in the fall. The May and June survey results provide the first indicators of the summer job market. The data for July and August will provide further insight into the summer job market. The published estimates are not seasonally adjusted; therefore, comparisons can only be made on a year-over-year basis.

 

Compared with June 2008, employment was down 43,000 for students aged 20 to 24 in June 2009. This pushed their unemployment rate up 4.8 percentage points to 14.0%, the highest June unemployment rate for these students since 1997.

 

The labour market for 17 to 19 year-old students is also proving to be challenging, as employment was down 50,000 between June of 2008 and 2009. This brings their unemployment rate to 18.1%, the highest since June 1998.

 

Quarterly update on territories

 

The Labour Force Survey also collects labour market information about the territories. These data are not included in the national estimates, but are pu
blished separately and in the form of three-month moving averages. Information in this release is based on data that are not seasonally adjusted and therefore comparisons should only be made on a year-over-year basis.

 

Employment edged down in all three territories in the second quarter of 2009 compared with the same quarter last year.

 

In the Yukon, as more people entered the labour force in search of work, the unemployment rate in the second quarter of 2009 increased to 7.7%, compared with 5.0% in the same quarter of the previous year.

 

In the Northwest Territories, the unemployment rate was 6.6% in the second quarter of 2009, little changed from a year earlier.

 

Over the same period in Nunavut, the employment declines were all in full-time work and the unemployment rate was up slightly to 14.5%.

 

The next release of the Labour Force Survey will be on August 7, 2009.