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Employment Report – March 2015

Employment increased by 29,000 in March, driven by gains in part-time work. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.8%.

Over the first quarter, employment gains totalled 63,000 (+0.4%), the result of more part-time work.

In the 12 months to March, employment increased by 138,000 (+0.8%), with most of the growth in full-time work. Over the same period, the total number of hours worked was little changed (+0.1%).

In March, employment rose in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and was little changed in the other provinces.

There were more people working in retail and wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, educational services and natural resources in March. At the same time, there were fewer people working in construction, public administration as well as agriculture.

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

In March, employment rose among women aged 55 and older, while there was little change among the other demographic groups.

Adjusted to concepts used in the United States, the unemployment rate in Canada was 5.9% in March, unchanged from February. At the same time, the US unemployment rate was 5.5%, also unchanged from a month earlier.

Unemployment Rates

Provincial summary

Employment in Saskatchewan rose by 7,000 in March, the first notable increase since September. The unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage points to 4.4% in March, the lowest among the provinces. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in Saskatchewan increased by 6,700 (+1.2%).

In March, employment in Manitoba increased by 6,100, bringing year-over-year growth to 19,000 or 3.1%, the highest growth rate among the provinces.

Employment in Alberta was little changed in March, as gains in part-time work were offset by losses in full time. Despite no growth in the first quarter, employment in the province was up 1.9% (+44,000) on a year-over-year basis.

In March, employment was also little changed in both Quebec and Ontario. In Quebec, year-over-year growth was 0.8%, with all of the gains in the first two months of 2015. In Ontario, employment edged up 0.5% compared with 12 months earlier.

Source: Statistics Canada

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