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Labour Force Survey, October 2016

Released: 2016-11-04

Employment rose by 44,000 (+0.2%) in October as a result of more part-time work. The unemployment rate remained at 7.0% as more people participated in the labour market.

Compared with 12 months earlier, employment increased by 140,000 (+0.8%), mostly in part-time work (+124,000 or +3.6%). At the same time, the total number of hours worked was little changed.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Employment
Employment

Highlights

In October, employment increased among youth and edged up for men aged 25 to 54. There was little change among the other demographic groups in the month.

Provincially, employment was up in Ontario and British Columbia, while it declined in Newfoundland and Labrador.

More people were employed in construction, wholesale and retail trade, "other services," educational services, natural resources and public administration. At the same time, there were declines in business, building, and other support services.

The number of private sector employees edged up in October, while there was little change in the number of public sector employees and self-employed.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Unemployment rate
Unemployment rate

Demographic overview

Among youth aged 15 to 24, employment increased by 26,000 in October, with all of the gains in part-time work. The unemployment rate for this group was virtually unchanged at 13.0%, as more youth participated in the labour market. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment among youth was little changed while their population declined by 1.1% (-48,000), continuing a downward trend.

In October, employment for men aged 25 to 54 increased slightly (+16,000), and their unemployment rate was little changed at 6.4%. On a year-over-year basis, full-time employment fell (-63,000 or -1.1%), while part-time work increased (+36,000 or +10.4%). Over the same period, their population grew 0.2% (+18,000).

For women aged 25 to 54, employment was virtually unchanged in the month. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment for these women rose by 61,000 (+1.1%), mostly in full-time work. At the same time, their unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 5.3%. The population for this group rose 0.3% (+24,000) on a year-over-year basis.

Among people 55 and older, employment was little changed in October. On a year-over-year basis, this group was the fastest growing segment of the labour force, mostly the result of population aging. Employment rose by 128,000 (+3.5%) among people 55 and older, and their population increased by 310,000 (+3.0%).

Of all demographic groups, women 55 and older had the largest increase in employment (+93,000 or +5.6%) compared with 12 months earlier, mostly in full-time work. Their labour force participation rate continued on an upward trend and their unemployment rate held steady at 5.0%.

For men 55 and older, employment increased by 35,000 (+1.7%) on a year-over-year basis, entirely in part time. At the same time, their unemployment rate increased 1.6 percentage points to 7.3% as more of them searched for work.

Provincial summary

Employment in Ontario increased by 25,000 in October, and the unemployment rate declined 0.2 percentage points to 6.4%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province grew by 77,000 (+1.1%).

In British Columbia, employment rose by 15,000 in October. At the same time, the unemployment rate increased by 0.5 percentage points to 6.2% as more people searched for work. Despite this increase, the unemployment rate remained the lowest among the provinces. On a year-over-year basis, British Columbia also had the fastest employment growth rate among the provinces at 2.4% (+56,000).

Employment declined by 5,600 in Newfoundland and Labrador, and the unemployment rate increased 1.3 percentage points to 14.9%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was down by 6,100 (-2.6%), and the unemployment rate increased by 1.7 percentage points.

In Quebec, employment was virtually unchanged in October, following two consecutive months of gains. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province rose by 70,000 (+1.7%), entirely in full-time work. Over the same period, the unemployment rate declined 0.8 percentage points to 6.8%.

Industry perspective

Employment in construction increased by 24,000 in October, with most of the increase in Ontario and Quebec. Year-over-year gains in this industry totalled 47,000 (+3.4%).

In wholesale and retail trade, employment rose by 19,000 in October, but was little changed compared with 12 months earlier.

Employment increased by 18,000 in "other services," such as those related to civic and professional organizations, as well as repair and maintenance. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the industry was up 22,000 (+2.8%).

There were 16,000 more people employed in educational services in October, with notable increases in half of the provinces. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the industry increased by 34,000 (+2.7%).

Employment in natural resources increased by 10,000 in October, the first notable increase since March 2015, mostly in Alberta. Compared with October 2015, employment in the industry was down 20,000 (-5.6%).

In public administration, employment rose by 9,500 in October. On a year-over-year basis, there was little change in the number of people employed in this industry.

Employment fell in business, building, and other support services (-15,000) in October, but it was little changed from 12 months earlier.

The number of private sector employees edged up in October (+34,000). On a year-over-year basis, the number of private sector employees grew by 101,000 (+0.9%).

For public sector employees and the self-employed, there was little change both in October and compared with 12 months earlier.




  Note to readers

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for October are for the week of October 9 to 15.

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 the 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 LFS estimates are the first in a series of labour market indicators released by Statistics Canada, which includes indicators from programs such as the Survey of Payroll Employment, Earnings and Hours (SEPH), Employment Insurance Statistics, and the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey. For more information on the conceptual differences between employment measures from the LFS and SEPH, refer to section 8 of the Guide to the Labour Force Survey (Catalogue number71-543-G).

The employment rate is the number of employed people as a percentage of the population aged 15 and older. 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 of 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.

Seasonal adjustment

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

Chart 1 shows trend-cycle data on employment. These data represent a smoothed version of the seasonally adjusted time series, which provides information on longer-term movements, including changes in direction underlying the series. These data are available in CANSIM table 282-0087 for the national level employment series. For more information, see the StatCan Blog and Trend-cycle estimates – Frequently asked questions.

Data for the Fort McMurray area

Estimates for the economic region of Wood Buffalo–Cold Lake, which are published as three-month moving averages, are available for the period ending in October.

Next release

The next release of the LFS will be on December 2.

Products

A more detailed summary, Labour Force Information (Catalogue number71-001-X), is now available for the week ending October 15. From the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications, choose All subjects, then Labour.

More information about the concepts and use of the Labour Force Survey is available online in the Guide to the Labour Force Survey (Catalogue number71-543-G), from the Browse by key resource module of our website, under Publications.

Contact information

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

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Andrew Fields (613-951-3551; andrew.fields@canada.ca) or Lahouaria Yssaad (613-951-0627; lahouaria.yssaad@canada.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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