Labour Force Survey

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April 2011 (Previous release)

Following two months of little change, employment rose by 58,000 in April, mainly in part time. The unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage points to 7.6%. Compared with April 2010, employment has grown by 283,000 (+1.7%).

Employment

There were gains in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing as well as in business, building and other support services in April. Employment was essentially unchanged in the other industries.

In April, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador were the only provinces with notable employment gains. At the same time, employment declined in Nova Scotia and Manitoba while there was little change in the remaining provinces.

The number of employees rose in both the private and public sectors in April. Over the past 12 months, employment in the public sector has grown by 2.8% compared with 1.6% in the private sector, while self-employment was little changed.

Employment in part time increased by 41,000 in April, and it edged up in full time. Over the past 12 months, full-time employment grew by 1.9% compared with 0.8% in part time.

Note to readers

Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates are based on a sample, and are therefore subject to sampling variability. Estimates for smaller geographic areas or industries will have more variability. For an explanation of sampling variability of estimates, and how to use standard errors to assess this variability, consult the "Data quality" section of the publication Labour Force Information (71-001-X, free).

Unless otherwise stated, this release presents seasonally adjusted data, which facilitates comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations.

With April's slight gain, full-time employment has returned to the level of October 2008 for the first time. The total number of hours worked, however, remained 0.6% below its October 2008 level.

Employment was up among women aged 55 and over in April, while it changed little for the other demographic groups.

Unemployment rate

Service sector leads employment gains

The largest employment gains in April were in the service sector, led by finance, insurance, real estate and leasing (+19,000) and business, building and other support services (+17,000).

In the goods sector, employment in natural resources (+6,600) edged up in April.

Employment in both manufacturing and construction was little changed in April. Over the past 12 months, however, these industries had employment gains of 3.3% and 2.7% respectively.

Despite little change over the last few months, the fastest employment growth since April 2010 was in transportation and warehousing (+7.7%). The second fastest year-over-year growth was in health care and social assistance (+3.6%), continuing its long-term upward trend.

Employment in Ontario continues upward trend

Employment in Ontario rose by 55,000 in April, driven by gains in part time (+46,000). As a result, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points to 7.9%, its lowest level since December 2008. Despite April's part-time gain, Ontario's employment growth of 157,000 (+2.4%) over the past 12 months was all in full time.

Newfoundland and Labrador was the only other province with a notable employment gain in April, up 3,100. Over the past 12 months, the number of workers rose by 15,000 or 6.9%, the fastest rate of growth of all provinces. In April, the unemployment rate fell by 1.3 percentage points to 11.1%, its lowest rate since 1976, when comparable data became available.

In April, employment fell by 5,500 in Nova Scotia and by 3,300 in Manitoba.

In Quebec, employment was unchanged in April, and the unemployment rate was 7.8%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was up 1.2% (+46,000).

Fastest employment growth among women 55 and over

Employment rose among women 55 and over, up 29,000 in April. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment among these women increased by 102,000 or 7.9%, the fastest rate of growth of all demographic groups.

Among youths aged 15 to 24 and core-aged workers (25 to 54), employment held steady in April. Over the past 12 months, employment among youths and core-aged women was little changed, while it was up 105,000 (+1.7%) among core-aged men.

Available on CANSIM: tables 282-0001 to 282-0042, 282-0047 to 282-0063, 282-0069 to 282-0095 and 282-0100 to 282-0121.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 3701.

A more detailed summary, Labour Force Information (71-001-X, free), is now available online for the week ending April 16. From the Key resource module of our website under Publications, choose All subjects, then Labour. LAN and bulk prices are available on request. The DVD-ROM Labour Force Historical Review, 2010 (71F0004X, $209), is now available. See How to order products.

Data tables are also now available online. From the Subject module of our website, choose Labour.

The next release of the Labour Force Survey will be on June 10.

For general information or to order data, contact Client Services (toll-free 1-866-873-8788; 613-951-4090; labour@statcan.gc.ca). To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Danielle Zietsma (613-951-4243; danielle.zietsma@statcan.gc.ca) or Vincent Ferrao (613-951-4750; vincent.ferrao@statcan.gc.ca), Labour Statistics Division.