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Canada’s Labour Force Survey, September 2017

Released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time in The Daily, Friday, October 6, 2017

Employment was essentially unchanged in September (+10,000 or +0.1%). The unemployment rate remained at 6.2%, matching the low of October 2008. Gains in full-time employment (+112,000) in September were mostly offset by declines in part time (-102,000). In August, there was a decline in the number of people working full time and an increase in part time. In the 12 months to September, employment rose by 320,000 (+1.8%), spurred by gains in full-time employment (+289,000 or +2.0%). Over this period, the number of hours worked increased by 2.4%. Overall employment grew by 43,000 (+0.2%) in the third quarter, slower than the 0.6% growth rate in the second quarter and the 0.5% growth rate of the first quarter of 2017.

Chart 1 – Employment

Chart 2 – Unemployment Rate

Highlights
From August to September, employment increased for people aged 55 and older, while it fell among men aged 25 to 54. For the second consecutive month, Ontario was the lone province with a notable employment gain. There were employment declines in Manitoba and Prince Edward Island. More people worked in educational services as well as wholesale and retail trade in September, while employment fell in information, culture and recreation. There was additional employment in the public sector, while the number of private sector employees was little changed. At the same time, the number of self-employed workers held steady.

More People Aged 55 and Older Working
Employment rose by 25,000 in September for people aged 55 and older, mostly in full-time work. Their unemployment rate was little changed at 5.4%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment for people aged 55 and older increased by 131,000 (+3.4%). Among workers aged 55 and older, about 8 in 10 are between the ages of 55 and 64. The estimated year-over-year employment growth rate (unadjusted for seasonality) for 55- to- 64-year-olds was 2.6% in September and their population increased by 2.0%. While population growth was similar for men and women in this age group, employment grew at a faster pace for women (+3.5%) than for men (+1.8%). In comparison, people aged 65 and older comprised a smaller share of older workers, but had the fastest year-over-year employment growth rate (unadjusted for seasonality) among the major demographic groups in September, rising 9.1% and outpacing their rate of population growth (+3.7%). Among this group of workers, employment grew at a faster pace for men (+12.4%) than for women (+4.5%). For more information about recent trends among older workers, see “The impact of aging on labour market participation rates.”

Employment Declines Among Men aged 25 to 54
For men aged 25 to 54, employment declined by 29,000 in September—all in part-time work. The unemployment rate for men in this age group rose by 0.4 percentage points to 5.9%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment for men aged 25 to 54 increased by 72,000 (+1.2%). Among women aged 25 to 54, full-time employment increased by 39,000 in September, while part time fell by 26,000, leaving overall employment for this group little changed. Their unemployment rate was 5.2%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment among core aged women rose by 102,000 (+1.8%).

Youth Unemployment Rate Down
Overall youth employment was little changed in September a 37,000 increase in full-time work was mostly offset by part-time losses. Employment for 15- to 24 year-olds was relatively unchanged compared with 12 months earlier. The unemployment rate for youth has been on a downward trend since the start of 2017 and fell 1.2 percentage points to 10.3% in September. This was the lowest rate since comparable data became available in 1976. See Chart 8 in the Labour Force Information \ publication. The decline in the youth unemployment rate in September was due to fewer youths in the labour market. The participation rate for this group fell 0.7 percentage points to 62.7% in the month. At the same time, their rate of full-time school attendance was 56.4%—the highest rate for any September since 2011. Increased school attendance is associated with delayed labour market participation. For more information about this long-term trend, see the Canada 150 box “Evolution of youth in the labour market.”

Provincial Employment
In Ontario, employment rose by 35,000 in September, the fourth overall gain in five months. An increase of 78,000 in full-time employment was partly offset by a decline of 43,000 in part-time work. The overall employment increase in September was driven by gains in wholesale and retail trade as well as educational services. The unemployment rate was little changed at 5.6% in September. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in Ontario was up 170,000 (+2.4%). Employment in Manitoba declined by 5,500 in September, almost all in part-time work. This was the first notable overall employment decrease in the province since April 2016. Despite the monthly decline, employment in Manitoba has been on an upward trend since the end of 2016. In September, the unemployment rate increased by 0.6 percentage points to 5.5%. In September, employment decreased in Prince Edward Island (-700), the second decline in three months. Despite the recent decreases, employment in the province was up by 1,600 (+2.2%) compared with September 2016. The unemployment rate increased by 0.7 percentage points in September to 9.5%. Overall employment in Quebec was little changed for the third consecutive month. In September, a decline of 25,000 in part-time work was mostly offset by additional people working full time. In the 12 months to September, employment in the province rose by 54,000 (+1.3%), concentrated in full-time work. Over the same 12 month period, the unemployment rate fell by 0.9 percentage points to 6.0%.

Industry Perspective
The number of people working in educational services increased by 20,000 in September, primarily in Ontario and Quebec. Employment in the industry was similar to the level observed in September 2016. Employment in wholesale and retail trade rose by 17,000 in September, bringing gains to 99,000 (+3.6%) since September 2016. Employment in information, culture and recreation decreased by 24,000 in September. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the industry edged down by 20,000 (-2.5%). Public sector employment rose by 26,000 in September, while the number of private sector employees was little changed. Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of private sector employees increased by 162,000 (+1.4%) and public sector employment rose by 103,000 (+2.8%). The number of self-employed workers held steady in September, with year-over-year gains totaling 55,000 (+2.0%).

Quarterly Update for the Territories
The Labour Force Survey collects labour market data in the territories, produced in the form of three-month moving averages.In the third quarter of 2017, employment in Yukon was little changed compared with the second quarter, and the unemployment rate was relatively unchanged at 3.3%. In the Northwest Territories, employment in the third quarter was unchanged from the previous quarter. Over the same period, the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.0%. Employment in Nunavut held steady in the third quarter, while the unemployment rate was 14.9%.

Source: Statistics Canada

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