Studies & Reports
Canadian employment virtually unchanged in October
By Mary Del
In October, employment remained virtually unchanged for the second consecutive month, as full-time gains offset part-time losses, according to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey for October 2010. The unemployment rate edged down to 7.9 percent and has been around eight percent for the past seven months.
Manufacturing employment in particular has changed little over the past year, up 0.6 percent from September 2010, and down 0.5 percent from October 2009.
Employment in the goods-producing sector rose by 36,000 over the past month, led by a gain of 21,000 in construction. Since October 2009, employment in construction has risen by six percent (up 72,000), one of the fastest growth rates of all major industries.
Within the goods sector, employment also increased in agriculture in October, up 9,000.
Since October 2009, total employment has risen by 375,000 (up 2.2 percent), mostly the result of strength over the first half of 2010, when employment growth averaged 51,000 per month. In the last four months, however, monthly gains have averaged 5,700.
The number of private sector employees increased by 38,000 in October, while self employment declined by 24,000. At the same time, public sector employment was virtually unchanged.
The number of people working full-time continued to rise in October, up 47,000, bringing gains to 164,000 over the past three months. At the same time, the total number of hours worked has edged up.
Part-time employment fell by 44,000 in October, with losses totalling 132,000 over the past three months.
Average hourly wages for employees increased by 2.1 percent in October compared with 12 months earlier.
In October, employment among women aged 55 and over increased by 16,000, while there was little change for men in this age group. At the same time, the number of 25- to 54-year-old workers dipped by 16,000. Youth employment was little changed in October, following a notable decline the previous month.
Employment in Alberta rose by 17,000 in October, following two months of little change. This increase brings total gains over the past 12 months to 46,000 or 2.3 percent, slightly above the national growth rate of 2.2 percent.
Employment also increased in Prince Edward Island in October, up 1,200. Despite this increase, employment in the province remained similar to the level of 12 months earlier.
In Quebec, employment was little changed in October. The unemployment rate rose by 0.3 percentage points to eight percent, as more people were looking for work.
While employment in Ontario was also little changed in October, the unemployment rate edged down 0.2 percentage points to 8.6 percent, the result of fewer men aged 25 and over participating in the labour market.
In Nova Scotia, employment fell by 8,600 in October, following an increase the month before. This decline pushed the unemployment rate in the province up 0.8 percentage points to 9.8 percent.
Employment in Newfoundland and Labrador declined by 2,300 in October. A decrease in the number of people in the labour force pushed the unemployment rate down to 13 percent, its lowest level since June 2008.