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Employment Report – April 2015

Employment edged down in April (-20,000), as gains in full-time work were more than offset by losses in part time. The unemployment rate held steady at 6.8% for the third consecutive month.

In the 12 months to April, employment increased by 139,000 (+0.8%), with all of the growth in full-time work. Over the same period, the total number of hours worked increased by 0.9%.

In April, employment declined for women aged 55 and older and increased for their male counterparts. There was little change among the other demographic groups.

Provincially, employment fell in British Columbia and Nova Scotia, while it rose in Alberta as well as in Newfoundland and Labrador.

There were fewer people working in construction, retail and wholesale trade, as well as in information, culture and recreation in April. At the same time, there were more people working in business, building and other support services as well as in manufacturing.

Part-time employment declined by 67,000 in April, partly offset by an increase of 47,000 in full time.

In April, public sector employment declined and the number of self-employed workers edged down. There was little change in the number of private sector employees.

Unemployment Rates

Employment down in British Columbia

Employment fell by 29,000 in British Columbia in April, pushing the unemployment rate up 0.5 percentage points to 6.3%. Despite this decline, employment in the province was little changed compared with 12 months earlier.

In Nova Scotia, employment decreased by 3,000 in April. At the same time, the unemployment rate was virtually unchanged at 9.2% as a result of fewer people participating in the labour market. Employment in the province has been trending downward since January.

Following little employment growth during the first quarter of 2015, employment in Alberta rose by 13,000 in April. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5% as more people participated in the labour market. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was up 53,000 (+2.4%).

Employment in Newfoundland and Labrador increased by 2,200 in April and the unemployment rate declined 0.7 percentage points to 12.6%. Despite more people working in April, employment was little changed compared with 12 months earlier.

In April, employment was little changed in both Quebec and Ontario. However, on a year-over-year-basis, employment in Quebec grew by 69,000 (+1.7%), with most of the gains occurring since December 2014. In Ontario, employment was virtually unchanged compared with 12 months earlier.

Industry perspective

Employment in construction declined for the second consecutive month, down 28,000 in April. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this industry was little changed.

There were 21,000 fewer people employed in retail and wholesale trade in April, bringing employment back to a level similar to that of April 2014.

Employment in information, culture and recreation was down 9,800 in April. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this industry decreased by 24,000 (-3.1%).

In business, building and other support services, employment rose by 11,000 in April, but was little changed compared with 12 months earlier.

Manufacturing employment increased by 10,000 in April. However, it was little changed compared with 12 months earlier.

In April, public sector employment declined by 20,000, while there was little change in the number of private sector employees. At the same time, the number of self-employed workers edged down.

In the 12 months to April, the number of private sector employees grew by 75,000 or 0.7% and the number of public sector employees increased by 64,000 or 1.8%. Over the same period, the number of self-employed workers was unchanged.

Source: Statistics Canada

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