Labour Market – August 10 Gains Driven by Service Sector

Employment increased by 36,000 in August. At the same time, the unemployment rate edged up 0.1 percentage points to 8.1%, as more people entered the labour force.  Monthly gains in employment averaged 13,000 in July and August, compared with an average monthly increase of 51,000 during the first six months of the year.

Employment in educational services increased by 68,000 in August, rebounding from a decline of a similar magnitude the previous month. Similar offsetting movements in employment have occurred in this sector in recent summers. There were also increases in professional, scientific and technical services and in natural resources in August.  These gains, however, were dampened by losses in manufacturing; business, building and other support services; and information, culture and recreation.

The most notable employment gains in August were in Quebec, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, while employment was little changed in the other provinces.  In August, full-time employment rose by 80,000 while part-time declined by 44,000. However, since the start of the upward trend in employment in July 2009, growth in part-time employment (+4.1%) has outpaced that of full-time (+2.2%).  August’s employment increase was among both men and women aged 25 and over.  The average hourly wage for employees rose by 2.3% in August compared with the same month a year earlier.

With increases of 68,000 in August, employment in educational services rebounded from a decline of a similar magnitude the previous month. Large monthly movements in educational services employment have been seen in recent summers (see Note to readers).

There were also gains in professional, scientific and technical services in August (+28,000). This industry recorded the highest growth rate of all major industry groups since July 2009, at 9.9% (+119,000).

Construction employment (+12,000) edged up in August, continuing the upward trend started in July 2009. Over this period, employment in this industry has grown by 9.6% or 109,000, the second highest growth rate of the major industry groups.

Natural resources posted employment gains of 9,000 in August, bringing total gains since July 2009 to 27,000 (+8.4%).

Manufacturing employment declined by 26,000 in August, offsetting the increase the previous month. Employment in this industry has been stable since July 2009.

In August, employment fell by 19,000 in business, building and other support services and by 18,000 in information, culture and recreation.

There were increases in the public sector (+58,000) and in self-employment (+18,000) in August, while there were declines among private sector employees (-40,000). Since July 2009, employment has grown by 4.3% in the public sector, 2.9% in the private sector, while self-employment edged down by 0.8%.

Quebec posted employment gains of 19,000 in August. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.2%, as more people entered the labour force. Since July 2009, employment growth of 3.0% (+115,000) in this province has been above the national average of 2.6%.

In Saskatchewan, employment rose by 5,400 in August, pushing the unemployment rate down 0.3 percentage points to 4.8%, the lowest in the country. Employment gains since July 2009 have totalled 13,000 (+2.4%).

In August, there were gains of 3,600 in Newfoundland and Labrador and the unemployment rate fell by 1.0 percentage point to 14.0%. This province has had the fastest rate of employment growth of all provinces since July 2009, at 5.0% (+11,000).

Employment in Ontario was little changed in August. The unemployment rate in this province was 8.8%, up 0.3 percentage points from the previous month, the result of an increase in the number of people in the labour force. Since July 2009, employment has increased by 2.7% (+178,000).

All of the employment gains in August were among workers aged 25 and over, up 20,000 for women and 18,000 for men. The unemployment rate was little changed for both groups, at 6.3% for women, and 7.4% for men.

There was little employment change among youths in August. The unemployment rate for 15 to 24 year-olds increased by 0.5 percentage points to 14.6%, as more youths looked for work.

Since July 2009, employment has increased at a much faster pace for workers aged 55 and over (+6.2%) than for youths (+1.9%) and workers aged 25 to 54 (+1.8%).

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