MRO Magazine

Factory employment rose by 29,000 in July, the largest increase in two years

Ottawa, ON -- The latest Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada indicated that employment was little chang...


Human Resources

August 6, 2010
By MRO Magazine
MRO Magazine

Ottawa, ON — The latest Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada indicated that employment was little changed in July 2010– following strong gains in recent months — with large full-time declines mostly offset by part-time gains. The unemployment rate edged up 0.1 percentage points to 8.0%.

Since the start of the upward trend in July 2009, employment has risen by 2.3% (+394,000).

Large full-time declines (-139,000) in July were mostly offset by part-time gains (+130,000). July’s strong part-time increase brings total gains in part time to 177,000 since July 2009. Over the same period, full-time employment has grown by 216,000.

In July, employment decreased in educational services and in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing. At the same time, there were increases in manufacturing and public administration.

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Quebec posted employment losses in July, while Alberta and British Columbia had increases. In all other provinces, employment was little changed.

Average hourly wages were up 2.2% from July 2009, similar to the year-over-year increases of recent months.

The number of workers in the education sector was down by 65,000 in July. The large drop in educational services in July was spread across several occupation groups, including educational assistants, teachers and administrators in primary and secondary schools as well as custodial staff.

In July, employment decreased in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing (-30,000), bringing employment in this industry back to its July 2009 level.

Factory employment rose by 29,000 in July, the largest increase for that sector in two years. With this increase, manufacturing employment returned to its level of a year earlier.

Employment also increased in public administration (+19,000) in July, bringing growth in this industry to 4.0% (+37,000) over the past 12 months.

Since the start of the upward trend in employment in July 2009, the industries with the fastest rates of growth were construction (+8.6%); professional, scientific and technical services (+7.5%); and health care and social assistance (+6.2%). Over the same period, the fastest declines were observed in agriculture (-4.9%) and “other services” (-3.0%) such as repair and maintenance.

There was virtually no change in the number of public or private sector employees in July, nor in self-employment. Over the past 12 months, employment has grown by 3.2% in the private sector and by 2.6% in the public sector, while self-employment has fallen by 1.5%.

In Quebec, employment decreased by 21,000 in July, the first notable decline in 12 months. The unemployment rate rose 0.4 percentage points to 8.2%. Since July 2009, employment has risen by 2.5% (+96,000) in this province, slightly above the national average of 2.3%.

British Columbia posted gains of 16,000 in July, bringing the province’s unemployment rate down 0.3 percentage points to 7.5%. Since July 2009, employment has grown by 3.0% (+67,000), one of the fastest growth rates of all provinces.

Employment increased in Alberta for the fourth consecutive month, up 9,000 in July. The unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points to 6.3%, the lowest since April 2009. Despite recent gains, employment growth in Alberta over the past year has been among the slowest in the country at 1.2%.

Following increases in recent months, employment in Ontario edged down by 15,000 in July, bringing the unemployment rate up 0.2 percentage points to 8.5%. Since July 2009, employment in this province has increased by 2.6% (+172,000).

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE INCREASES AMONG THOSE AGED 55 AND OVER

While employment was little changed among the different demographic groups in July, the unemployment rate rose for both women and men aged 55 and over, as more people in this age group entered the labour force. In July, the unemployment rate for women aged 55 and over increased by 1.3 percentage points to 6.4%, the highest in six years. For men of the same age group, the unemployment rate increased by 0.5 percentage points to 7.1%.

Workers aged 55 and over had the fastest rate of employment growth (+5.7%) over the past 12 months. During the same period, employment grew by 1.6% among workers aged 25 to 54 and 2.0% among youths 15 to 24.

LABOUR MARKET IMPROVES FOR STUDENTS AGED 20 TO 24

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 published estimates are not seasonally adjusted; therefore, comparisons can only be made on a year-over-year basis.

Employment increased by 4.5% (+56,000) for students aged 15 to 24 in July compared with 12 months earlier. The bulk of the gains were for students aged 20 to 24 years (+47,000).

Compared with July 2009, the unemployment rate for students aged 15 to 24 declined 4.1 percentage points to 16.8% in July. Despite this improvement, their unemployment rate remains above that of July 2008 (13.8%), a summer when student employment was particularly strong.

Younger students had a harder time finding employment in July than their older counterparts. The unemployment rate for students aged 15 to 16 was 28.2%, compared with 18.2% for 17 to 19 year-old students and 7.5% for 20 to 24 year-olds.

The next release of the Labour Force Survey will be on Sept. 10, 2010.