Employment rate, by sex

Boosted by continued employment growth, the employment rate still at record level

  • In 2007, the proportion of the working-age population holding a job climbed to an all-time high of 63.5%, 6.4 percentage points higher than in 1976. Employment increased for both men and women in 2007, with women enjoying stronger employment growth. In 2007, the employment rate for men was up for the first time since 2004, at 68.0%, while the rate for women continued to advance and reached a record high of 59.1%.

  • In the past three decades, the employment rate for women has risen substantially while the rate for men has dropped well below that of the late 1970s. During this period, many changes occurred in Canadian society that facilitated women's increased presence in the work force. These changes include enhanced parental leave benefits and higher levels of representation in many university degree programs.

  • Despite the steadily increasing presence of women in the labour market, men remained more likely than women to be employed. The average employment rate among women, 59.1% in 2007, was still appreciably lower than the rate for men (68.0%). Even so, the male–female employment rate gap was the smallest on record.

Chart B.2
Employment rates, by sex, 1976 to 2007

Chart B.2 Employment rates, by sex, 1976 to 2007

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

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