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Unemployment reaches seven-year high


April 16, 2009
By Alyssa Dalton


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OTTAWA, Ont. – Employment declined by 61,000 in March, pushing the unemployment rate up 0.3 percentage points to eight percent, the highest rate in seven years, according to Statistics Canada’s March 2009 Labour Force Survey.

Since peaking in October 2008, employment has fallen each month, with
net losses totalling 357,000. Losses in March were widespread across a
number of industries, most notably in manufacturing, finance,
insurance, real estate, leasing, construction and natural resources.

Employment in manufacturing fell by 34,000 in March. Of the major
industry groups, manufacturing has lost the most workers since October,
down 134,000 employees or 6.8 percent. These losses were concentrated
in the manufacturing of fabricated and primary metal; motor vehicle
body and parts; and wood products.

Employment fell in several provinces in March, with the largest
declines in British Columbia (-23,000), Alberta (-15,000) and Ontario
(-11,000). Since October, these three provinces also had the fastest
rate of employment decreases.

For more information, visit www.statcan.gc.ca.