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Labour Force Survey, April 2015

Released: 2015-05-08

Employment edged down in April (-20,000), as gains in full-time work were more than offset by losses in part time. The unemployment rate held steady at 6.8% for the third consecutive month.

In the 12 months to April, employment increased by 139,000 (+0.8%), with all of the growth in full-time work. Over the same period, the total number of hours worked increased by 0.9%.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Employment - Description and data table
Employment

Chart 1: Employment - Description and data table

In April, employment declined for women aged 55 and older and increased for their male counterparts. There was little change among the other demographic groups.

Provincially, employment fell in British Columbia and Nova Scotia, while it rose in Alberta as well as in Newfoundland and Labrador.

There were fewer people working in construction, retail and wholesale trade, as well as in information, culture and recreation in April. At the same time, there were more people working in business, building and other support services as well as in manufacturing.

Part-time employment declined by 67,000 in April, partly offset by an increase of 47,000 in full time.

In April, public sector employment declined and the number of self-employed workers edged down. There was little change in the number of private sector employees.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Unemployment rate - Description and data table
Unemployment rate

Chart 2: Unemployment rate - Description and data table

Employment declines among women aged 55 and older

For women aged 55 and older, employment declined by 15,000 in April and the unemployment rate edged up to 5.5%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment was little changed for this group.

For men in the same age group, employment increased by 12,000 in April. However, their unemployment rate was little changed at 5.9% as more of them participated in the labour market. Compared with a year earlier, employment among men aged 55 and older rose by 57,000 (+3.0%), with most of the gains occurring since December.

While employment among youth aged 15 to 24 was little changed in April, their unemployment rate rose 0.6 percentage points to 13.6%, as more of them searched for work. On a year-over-year basis, youth employment was little changed.

There was also little employment change for people aged 25 to 54 in April. However, their unemployment rate declined 0.2 percentage points to 5.6%, as fewer of them looked for work. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment for this group rose by 54,000 (+0.5%).

Employment down in British Columbia

Employment fell by 29,000 in British Columbia in April, pushing the unemployment rate up 0.5 percentage points to 6.3%. Despite this decline, employment in the province was little changed compared with 12 months earlier.

In Nova Scotia, employment decreased by 3,000 in April. At the same time, the unemployment rate was virtually unchanged at 9.2% as a result of fewer people participating in the labour market. Employment in the province has been trending downward since January.

Following little employment growth during the first quarter of 2015, employment in Alberta rose by 13,000 in April. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5% as more people participated in the labour market. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was up 53,000 (+2.4%).

Employment in Newfoundland and Labrador increased by 2,200 in April and the unemployment rate declined 0.7 percentage points to 12.6%. Despite more people working in April, employment was little changed compared with 12 months earlier.

In April, employment was little changed in both Quebec and Ontario. However, on a year-over-year-basis, employment in Quebec grew by 69,000 (+1.7%), with most of the gains occurring since December 2014. In Ontario, employment was virtually unchanged compared with 12 months earlier.

Industry perspective

Employment in construction declined for the second consecutive month, down 28,000 in April. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this industry was little changed.

There were 21,000 fewer people employed in retail and wholesale trade in April, bringing employment back to a level similar to that of April 2014.

Employment in information, culture and recreation was down 9,800 in April. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this industry decreased by 24,000 (-3.1%).

In business, building and other support services, employment rose by 11,000 in April, but was little changed compared with 12 months earlier.

Manufacturing employment increased by 10,000 in April. However, it was little changed compared with 12 months earlier.

In April, public sector employment declined by 20,000, while there was little change in the number of private sector employees. At the same time, the number of self-employed workers edged down.

In the 12 months to April, the number of private sector employees grew by 75,000 or 0.7% and the number of public sector employees increased by 64,000 or 1.8%. Over the same period, the number of self-employed workers was unchanged.



  Note to readers

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for April are for the week of April 12 to 18.

The LFS estimates are based on a sample and are therefore subject to sampling variability. As a result, monthly estimates will show more variability than trends observed over longer time periods. For more information, see "Interpreting Monthly Changes in Employment from the Labour Force Survey." Estimates for smaller geographic areas or industries also 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 (Catalogue number71-001-X).

This analysis focuses on differences between estimates that are statistically significant at the 68% confidence level.

The employment rate is the number of employed persons as a percentage of the population 15 years of age and over. The rate for a particular group (for example, youths aged 15 to 24) is the number employed in that group as a percentage of the population for that group.

The unemployment rate is the number unemployed as a percentage of the labour force (employed and unemployed).

The participation rate is the number of employed and unemployed as a percentage of the population. For more detailed information, see the Guide to the Labour Force Survey (Catalogue number71-543-G).

Seasonal adjustment

Unless otherwise stated, this release presents seasonally adjusted estimates, which facilitates comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

Sample redesign

Every 10 years, the LFS undergoes a sample redesign to reflect changes in population and labour market characteristics, as well as new definitions of geographical boundaries. The redesigned sample was introduced starting in January 2015 and will be fully implemented by June 2015.

A more detailed summary, Labour Force Information (Catalogue number71-001-X), is now available for the week ending April 18. From the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications, choose All subjects then Labour.

Summary tables are now available online. From the Browse by subject module of our website, choose Labour.

The next release of the Labour Force Survey will be on June 5.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Andrew Fields (613-951-3551; andrew.fields@statcan.gc.ca) or Emmanuelle Bourbeau (613-951-3007; emmanuelle.bourbeau@statcan.gc.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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