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Ontario and Quebec responsible for nearly all of June’s employment gains

Ottawa, ON -- Employment rose by 93,000 in June 2010, pushing the unemployment rate down 0.2 percentage points...


Ottawa, ON — Employment rose by 93,000 in June 2010, pushing the unemployment rate down 0.2 percentage points to 7.9%. This is the first time the rate has been below the 8% mark since January 2009, reports Statistics Canada in its latest Labour Force Survey.

Employment has been on an upward trend since July 2009, increasing by 403,000 (+2.4%). These gains offset nearly all the employment losses observed during the labour market downturn which began in the fall of 2008. The June unemployment rate, however, remained well above the October 2008 rate of 6.2%, due to a large increase in the number of people in the labour force over this period.

Employment increases were evenly split between full and part time in June. Since July 2009, most of the employment gains have been in full-time work, up 355,000 or 2.6%, while part-time work rose by 1.5%.

Notable employment increases in June were in service industries including retail and wholesale trade; business, building and other support services; health care and social assistance; and other services such as automotive repair and personal care services.

In June, there were continued gains in the number of private sector employees. The number of self-employed workers also increased, while there was little change among public sector employees.

Virtually all of June’s employment gains were in Ontario (+60,000) and Quebec (+30,000). At the same time, there were declines in Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick. There was little employment change in all other provinces.

The employment increases in June were led by core-aged men 25 to 54, followed by workers 55 years and over and youths 15 to 24.

The average hourly wage for employees was 1.7% higher in June compared with the same month last year.

There were 22,000 additional workers in retail and wholesale trade in June, bringing total gains to 69,000 (+2.6%) since July 2009.

Employment in business, building and other support services increased by 20,000 in June. This industry has shown strength since the start of the year, with gains totalling 86,000 (+14.0%) over the period.

Health care and social assistance continued its long-term upward trend, with an increase of 20,000 in June.

Employment also increased in June in other services such as automotive repair and personal care services, up 17,000.

In the goods-producing sector, employment in construction edged up 11,000. This industry has had the fastest growth rate of all major industry groups since July 2009 (+8.3% or +94,000).

On the other hand, employment in manufacturing dipped by 14,000 in June. While employment in this industry is little changed since July 2009, it remains well below its October 2008 level (-235,000 or -11.9%).

The number of private sector employees increased by 52,000 in June. At the same time, there were 26,000 more self-employed workers. Since July 2009, the number of employees in the private sector has risen by 349,000 (+3.3%), with most of the gains in recent months. The number of public sector workers has risen by 2.6% over the same period, while self-employment has declined by 1.3%.

GAINS CONCENTRATED IN ONTARIO AND QUEBEC

Ontario’s employment was up 60,000 in June, the sixth consecutive monthly gain. This brings employment increases in the province to 187,000 (+2.9%) since July 2009. With these gains, Ontario’s employment is slightly below its pre-recession level. In June, the unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage points to 8.3%, the lowest since January 2009.

In June, employment increased by 30,000 in Quebec and the unemployment rate dipped 0.2 percentage points to 7.8%. Since July 2009, employment growth in Quebec has been the fastest of all provinces at 3.0% (+117,000).

Employment in Newfoundland and Labrador fell by 8,100 in June, offsetting the increase of the month before. The unemployment rate increased by 0.9 percentage points to 14.7%, a rate similar to those observed earlier this year. Despite the employment decline in June, growth since July 2009 has been 2.9%, a faster rate of growth than the national average of 2.4%.

Employment in New Brunswick also fell in June (-4,400). This pushed the unemployment rate in the province up 0.5 percentage points to 9.3%.

Following two months of growth, employment in Alberta was little changed in June. Since July 2009, employment in this province has risen by 0.8% (+15,000), the slowest growth rate of all provinces.

CORE-AGED MEN LEAD EMPLOYMENT GAINS

Among core-aged workers (25 to 54), employment increased by 41,000 in June, all among men. Since July 2009, there has been employment growth for both core-aged men (+1.8%) and women (+1.6%). With these gains, core-age women are back to their pre-recession employment levels. In contrast, employment among core-age men still remains 90,000 below their October 2008 level.

In June, employment increased by 31,000 among those aged 55 and over. Since July 2009, employment growth has been the fastest for this age group (+5.3%).

Employment also rose among youths aged 15 to 24 in June, up 21,000. This pushed their unemployment rate down 0.5 percentage points to 14.6%. Since July 2009, youth employment has grown by 60,000, but still remains 148,000 below the October 2008 peak.

AN IMPROVED STUDENT SUMMER LABOUR MARKET COMPARED WITH A YEAR AGO

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 the same month a year earlier, employment increased by 63,000 in June 2010 for students aged 20 to 24. This pushed their unemployment rate down 3.7 percentage points to 10.3%. Despite this improvement, their unemployment rate remains above that of June 2008 (9.2%), a summer when student employment was particularly strong.

The labour market for 17 to 19 year-old students improved marginally in June, as their employment edged up 11,000 from June 2009. Their unemployment rate declined 2.1 percentage points to 16.0% in June, but remained well above the rate of 11.7% observed in June 2008.

QUARTERLY UPDATE ON TERRITORIES

The Labour Force Survey also collects labour market information about the territories. This information is produced monthly in the form of three-month moving averages. Not all estimates are seasonally adjusted, therefore comparisons should only be made on a year-over-year basis.

In Nunavut, while employment increased slightly for the three months ending in June 2010 compared with the same period last year, there were more people looking for work, which pushed the unemployment rate up from 14.5% to 19.7%.

The number of people working in the Northwest Territories in the second quarter was little changed compared with the same quarter in 2009. The unemployment rate increased from 6.6% to 7.4% however, as more people were searching for work.

There was little overall change in the Yukon labour market in the second quarter compared with a year earlier. The unemployment rate in the Yukon was 7.8%, little changed from a year earlier.

The next release of the Labour Force Survey will be on August 6, 2010.