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Employment Report – February 2015

Employment was unchanged in February, while the unemployment rate rose by 0.2 percentage points to 6.8% as more people searched for work.

In the 12 months to February, employment increased by 130,000 (+0.7%) with most of the growth in the second half of the period.

Compared with February 2014, full-time employment rose by 121,000 (+0.8%), while there was little change in part-time work. Over the same period, the total number of hours worked was up slightly (+0.2%).

In February, employment increased among men aged 55 and older, while there was little change in the other demographic groups.

Provincially, employment declined in Alberta, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, while it increased in Quebec.

There were fewer people working in manufacturing; natural resources; information, culture and recreation; as well as in ‘other services.’ However, there were gains in construction and educational services in February.

The number of public sector workers increased in February. There was little change in the number of private sector employees and the self-employed.

Adjusted to the concepts used in the United States, the unemployment rate in Canada was 5.9% in February, up 0.3 percentage points compared with January. At the same time, the US unemployment rate declined 0.2 percentage points to 5.5%.

Unemployment Rates

Provincial summary

Alberta: Employment in Alberta fell by 14,000 in February, pushing the unemployment rate in the province up 0.8 percentage points to 5.3%, the highest since September 2011. Employment losses were in a number of industries, most notably retail and wholesale trade; natural resources; professional, scientific and technical services; as well as manufacturing. In the province’s natural resources sector, employment has decreased by 20,000 (-11.0%) since the most recent peak in September 2014.

Nova Scotia: Employment fell by 4,400 and the unemployment rate increased 0.7 percentage points to 9.1%. Despite fewer people working in February, employment in the province was virtually unchanged on a year-over-year basis.

Newfoundland & Labrador: Employment in Newfoundland and Labrador declined by 3,000 in February, bringing losses over the past 12 months to 6,900 (-2.9%). In February, the unemployment rate in the province increased by 1.2 percentage points to 12.6%.

Quebec: In Quebec, employment increased for the second consecutive month, up 17,000 in February and all in part-time work. In the 12 months to February, overall employment in the province increased by 44,000 or 1.1%. Despite more employment in February, the unemployment rate remained at 7.4% as more people participated in the labour force.

Ontario: In Ontario, gains in full-time employment were largely offset by declines in part-time work, leaving overall employment little changed. The unemployment rate in the province remained at 6.9%. Compared with a year earlier, employment increased by 39,000 or 0.6%.

Employment in the remaining provinces was little changed between January and February.

Source: Statistics Canada

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