Employment rates, by province

Albertans continue to enjoy the strongest labour market

  • The highest employment rates in the country can be found in the three Prairie provinces and Ontario. Alberta, in particular, has consistently had high rates. In 2007, the employment rate in Alberta was at a record high of 71.5%, reflecting an upward trend in job growth that began in the early 1990s and intensified in 2006 and 2007.

  • Newfoundland and Labrador has consistently ranked as the province with the lowest proportion of its working-age population holding a job. In 2007, its employment rate was 51.2%, 12.3 percentage points below the national average of 63.5%. However, the employment rate in Newfoundland and Labrador has increased by 8.9 percentage points since 1996, mainly as a result of employment growth during this period, which has pushed the rate to its highest level in more than 30 years.

  • Over the past three decades, the employment rate gap among the provinces has narrowed. Most noteworthy is New Brunswick, where the difference between the provincial employment rate and the national average has decreased more than any other province. In 1976, the provincial employment rate was 9.1 percentage points below the national average and by 2007, the gap had decreased to 4.3 percentage points. Nevertheless, if we compare the employment rates of Canadian provinces and American states, we find that Canada had both the highest rate (Alberta) and the lowest rate (Newfoundland and Labrador).

Chart C.1
Employment rates, by province, 2007

Chart C.1 Employment rates, by province, 2007

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

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