Analysis — February 2013
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Employment rose by 51,000 in February, following a slight decline the previous month. This increase was spread between full and part time. The unemployment rate remained at 7.0% as more people participated in the labour force.
Compared with 12 months earlier, employment grew by 1.9% or 336,000, predominantly in full-time work. Over the same period, the total number of hours worked also increased by 1.9%.
Provincially, employment increased in Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, while Manitoba saw a decline.
Employment gains in February were in professional, scientific and technical services; accommodation and food services; public administration; and agriculture. Manufacturing was the only industry to post a notable decline.
In February, there were more people working as employees (+39,000), while the number of self-employed was little changed. Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of private sector employees rose 236,000 or 2.1%, and public sector employment increased 72,000 or 2.0%. Self-employment was little changed over the same period.
Employment increased among people aged 55 and over in February, while it was little changed among youths and people aged 25 to 54.
Employment gains in several provinces
Employment in Ontario rose by 35,000 in February, led by gains among youths. Despite this increase, the unemployment rate remained at 7.7% as more people participated in the labour force. Year-over-year gains in the province were 1.7%, slightly below the national growth rate of 1.9%.
Following a decline the previous month, employment in British Columbia increased by 20,000. As more people participated in the labour force, the unemployment rate remained at 6.3%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was little changed.
Employment rose by 3,000 in Nova Scotia and the unemployment rate was 9.3% in February. However, compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was down 1.4%.
In New Brunswick, the number of workers increased by 2,900, pushing the unemployment rate down 1.2 percentage points to 10.1%. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province was little changed.
Employment in Manitoba declined by 3,200 in February and the unemployment rate stood at 4.9%, as fewer people participated in the labour force. Despite this month’s loss, employment in the province grew by 1.9% on a year-over-year basis.
Employment in Quebec was little changed in February, and the unemployment rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 7.4%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province increased by 2.9%.
While employment in Saskatchewan was little changed in February, robust growth (+4.3%) over the past 12 months pushed the unemployment rate down 1.1 percentage points over the period to 3.8% in February, the lowest since November 2008 and the lowest among all provinces.
Employment up in the services sector
In February, employment in professional, scientific and technical services rose by 26,000, returning to a level similar to that of 12 months earlier.
Employment in accommodation and food services increased by 21,000 in February, bringing year-over-year employment growth in this industry to 3.0%.
Public administration employment rose for the second consecutive month, up 16,000. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this industry increased by 2.7%.
In agriculture, employment increased 7,300 in February and was up 5.6% compared with February 2012.
The number of workers in manufacturing declined by 26,000 in February. Employment growth in the spring of 2012 was offset by a slight downward trend since the summer, leaving employment in this industry little changed compared to 12 months earlier.
Employment continued to rise among people 55 and over
Among people aged 55 and over, employment increased for the second consecutive month, up 32,000 in February and mostly among men. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment among people in this age group rose by 171,000 (+5.4%), partly a result of population ageing.
While employment among people aged 25 to 54 was little changed in February, it was up by 116,000 (+1.0%) on a year-over-year basis.
Among youths aged 15 to 24, employment was little changed in February and the unemployment rate was 13.6%. Employment among youths has been on a slight upward trend since August 2012.
Note to Readers
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. 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 'Estimates quality' section of the publication Labour Force Information (71-001-X).
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, youth 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 (71-543-G).
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 Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends.
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