Employment

The sharp increase in service sector employment in 2007 offset the decline in manufacturing

  • Employment grew significantly in 2007, rising 2.3% (+382,000). Three-quarters of the employment gains in the year were in full-time employment. The increase in employment pushed the unemployment rate down to a 32-year low of 5.8% in October. Since 1993, employment has risen by an average of 2.0% a year, the longest run of consecutive annual employment gains in the last three decades.

  • During 2007, the Canadian dollar continued to rise against the U.S. dollar, reaching parity in the fall, while prices for energy and other raw materials increased dramatically and foreign competition intensified. Employment losses in manufacturing totalled 73,000 (-3.4%) for the year. However, the decline in manufacturing and some other goods-producing industries was offset by strong gains in construction and services.

  • There have been two periods of sustained declines in employment in Canada over the last three decades: the 1981/1982 and 1990/1991 recessions. The decline was major but shorter-lived during the recession of the early 1980s, whereas the 1990/1991 drop was initially less severe but its effects lingered in the labour market for a longer period. It wasn't until 1994 that employment returned to its pre-recession level.

Chart A.1
Employment, 1976 to 2007

Chart A.1 Employment, 1976 to 2007

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, CANSIM table 282-0002.

Date modified: