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Introduction

August 2017

Unemployment Rate

Labour Force

Employment Insurance

Labour Force Survey

Payroll Employment, Earnings & Hours


Unemployment Rate

 

Northeastern BC Unemployment Rates

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

2008

4.3

5.0

5.9

6.2

6.3

5.8

5.0

4.5

3.6

2009

4.6

4.6

6.5

6.5

8.4

7.7

7.0

8.3

7.9

7.2

5.5

5.4

2010

4.9

4.4

4.6

5.3

6.9

7.5

7.2

6.7

7.6

7.6

6.4

7.1

2011

9.0

9.1

8.1

5.4

5.1

4.0

4.4

4.2

4.3

4.3

2012

3.7

3.6

4.2

3.9

4.8

4.3

4.8

4.4

3.8

2013

4.1

4.6

5.2

6.1

4.9

4.5

4.4

4.9

4.9

3.6

4.7

2014

6.6

7.4

8.2

8.6

8.0

5.9

4.7

4.1

4.0

2015

4.2

4.7

5.9

6.1

6.4

5.5

5.5

6.2

7.0

7.6

2016

8.5

9.2

9.7

9.4

9.6

9.2

8.8

8.6

9.4

9.7

10.0

10.5

2017

10.5

8.7

6.5

5.5

7.0

7.3

6.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

In July 2017, the unemployment rate in BC is 5.2% and 7.8% in Alberta.

— : suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act


Labour Force

B.C. Highlights

The unemployment rate in British Columbia was 5.3% in July, up from 5.1% in June, but below the 5.6% it was 12 months ago.  Compared to June, the labour force was unchanged (+100), but there were fewer people employed (-5,100) while the number of unemployed went up (+5,200).  Over the past twelve months, job growth (+87,000) outpaced the growth in the labour force (+83,000).

Compared to June, there were 7,000 more full-time jobs, while the number of part-time jobs fell by 12,100.

In July, employment in the public sector rose (+7,400), while the number of jobs in the private sector went down (-24,500). The number of self-employed individuals increased (+12,100) during the same time period.

 

Provincial comparisons

At 5.3%, British Columbia’s unemployment rate was the second lowest in Canada during the month of July, behind Manitoba (5.0%). Quebec (5.8%) had the third lowest unemployment rate.  At 7.8%, Alberta’s unemployment rate was the fourth highest among the provinces.

 

Gender

In July, employment in British Columbia for men (aged 25 years and over) grew by 1,500 jobs, while the labour force increased by 1,100. As a result, the unemployment rate was 4.5%, down 0.1 percentage points from the previous month.

For women (aged 25 years and over), employment contracted by 3,900 jobs. The labour force also decreased by 900, resulting in the unemployment rate rising to 5.1% (+0.3 percentage points).

Compared to July 2016, the unemployment rate for men was down by 0.7 percentage points to 4.5%, and for women it was up by 0.4 percentage points to 5.1%. Jobs for men increased by 28,800 (+2.7%) compared to a year ago, and for women employment climbed by 31,500 (+3.2%).

 

Youth Aged 15 to 24 Years

The unemployment rate for youth aged 15 to 24 years rose to 8.2% in July. Employment decreased by 2,600 jobs while the labour force contracted by 200 people. All job gains for youth were in full-time employment (+2,800 jobs), with part-time employment (-5,400) declining. Compared to July 2016, the unemployment rate for youth decreased by 1.5 percentage points to 8.2%.

BC Stats Infoline

Employment Insurance

There were 1,850 fewer British Columbians receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in May (-3.5%, seasonally adjusted), compared to April. The number of EI recipients fell for both men (-4.3%) and women (-2.4%).

Nationally, there was also a drop in recipients, with 12,760 fewer people collecting EI, a decrease of 2.4% from April.

Data Source: Statistics Canada

BC Stats Infoline

June 2017

The number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits totalled 517,200 in June, down 7,000 (-1.3%) from May. This was the eighth consecutive monthly decline in the number of beneficiaries.

Most provinces had fewer beneficiaries in June, notably Prince Edward Island (-5.5%) and Alberta (-3.3%). Decreases were also observed in New Brunswick (-2.0%), British Columbia (-1.9%) and Ontario (-1.8%). At the same time, Manitoba (-0.9%) and Saskatchewan (-0.9%) had slightly fewer beneficiaries, while Newfoundland and Labrador had slightly more (+0.9%). There was little change in Quebec and no change in Nova Scotia.

In the 12 months to June, 37,700 fewer people received benefits in Canada, down 6.8%. Most of the decline was accounted for by Quebec, Ontario and Alberta.

In general, changes in the number of beneficiaries can reflect a number of different circumstances, including people becoming beneficiaries, those going back to work, and those no longer receiving regular benefits.

 

Provincial and sub-provincial overview

The number of EI beneficiaries in Prince Edward Island fell for the second consecutive month, down 5.5% to 7,200 in June—the lowest level since June 2015. The monthly decrease in beneficiaries was observed throughout the province. Labour Force Survey (LFS) data show that employment in Prince Edward Island has been trending upward since the autumn of 2016.

In Alberta, 69,700 people received regular EI benefits in June, down 3.3% from May. This was the eighth consecutive monthly decline in the province, which has seen a downward trend in unemployment combined with an upward trend in employment. The decrease in June was spread across the province, including the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) of Edmonton (-3.0%) and Calgary (-1.2%). In the 12 months to June, the number of EI recipients in the province was down 14.9%. This was the second consecutive decline on a year-over-year basis and was partly attributable to the increased number of beneficiaries in May 2016, a result of the wildfires in northern Alberta and the evacuation of residents in that area.

The number of beneficiaries in New Brunswick fell for the fourth month in a row, down 2.0% to 31,000 in June. Most areas in the province had fewer people receiving benefits, including Moncton (-2.1%) and Saint John (-2.0%). In the 12 months to June, the number of beneficiaries in New Brunswick was down 9.3%.

In British Columbia, the number of beneficiaries fell 1.9% to 49,700, with the decrease spread across the province. Compared with June 2016, the number of EI recipients was down 4.6%. Over the same 12-month period, the LFS showed employment in the province increasing by 4.4%.

Ontario had fewer people receiving benefits in June, down 1.8% to 127,500. This was the third consecutive monthly decline in the number of beneficiaries. The province has seen a downward trend in EI beneficiaries since the summer of 2015, which may reflect improved labour market conditions, consistent with data from the LFS. Most CMAs in the province had fewer beneficiaries in June 2017, with the decreases ranging from 1.7% in Ottawa to 5.8% in Oshawa. At the same time, increases were recorded in Windsor (+4.5%) and Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo (+2.1%).

In Manitoba, 14,800 people received EI benefits in June, down slightly (-0.9%) from May. Declines occurred mostly outside the CMA of Winnipeg. The province had 2.0% fewer beneficiaries than it did 12 months earlier.

Saskatchewan also had slightly fewer people receiving benefits in June (-0.9%). Declines were recorded in Saskatoon (-3.7%) and Regina (-2.6%). The census agglomerations (CAs) also had fewer beneficiaries (-1.3%), while increases were observed outside the CMAs and CAs (+1.4%). In the 12 months to June, the number of beneficiaries in Saskatchewan was up 7.8%, the lowest year-over-year increase since January 2015.

After two months of decreases, the number of EI beneficiaries in Quebec in June was little changed at 129,400. The province has seen a downward trend in beneficiaries at the same time as there has been an upward trend in employment. Within the province, however, the CMAs of Sherbrooke (+2.6%) and Montréal (+1.1%) had more EI beneficiaries. Compared with June 2016, Quebec had 9.4% fewer beneficiaries. During the same period, employment grew by 3.0%, while the unemployment rate fell from 6.9% to 6.0%.

Following two consecutive months of notable increases, 39,800 people in Newfoundland and Labrador received EI benefits in June, up slightly (+0.9%) from May. Other than a small increase in St. John's (+1.3%), there were no notable variations in the rest of the province. In the 12 months to June, Newfoundland and Labrador had 14.6% more beneficiaries. During the same period, the LFS showed that employment decreased by 5.0%, while the unemployment rate rose from 12.0% to 14.9%.

In Nova Scotia, 27,300 people received benefits in June, unchanged from May. While Halifax had fewer beneficiaries (-3.6%), little change was recorded in the CAs, but an increase (+1.8%) was observed elsewhere in the province. In the 12 months to June, the number of EI recipients in Nova Scotia was down 2.1%.

 

Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation

Looking at EI recipients based on the last job they held, declines were recorded for 6 of the 10 broad occupational groups in the 12 months to June, mainly among those whose last job was in manufacturing and utilities (-14.6%), natural and applied sciences (-12.1%), and in trades, transport and equipment operators (-11.7%).

At the same time, there were more beneficiaries whose last job was in art, culture, recreation and sport (+9.3%), as well as in education, law and social, community and government services (+8.3%). Smaller increases were recorded for those who had last worked in management (+2.1%) and health (+1.5%).

 

Employment Insurance beneficiaries in major demographic groups

The monthly decrease in EI beneficiaries in June was spread across the major demographic groups, including young women and men aged 15 to 24 (-2.6% and -1.8% respectively), as well as core-age (25 to 54) men (-1.8%) and women (-1.1%). There were also slightly fewer beneficiaries aged 55 and older (-0.7%).

In the 12 months to June, more women aged 55 years and older (+6.1%) were receiving benefits, while there was little change for their male counterparts. In contrast, all other groups showed declines in beneficiaries, ranging from 3.8% for young women to 15.1% for young men.

 

Employment Insurance claims

Following a decline in May, EI claims rose 2.7% to 236,300 in June. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries.

Claims rose in six provinces, most notably Alberta, where an 8.0% increase in June followed a 5.5% decline the previous month. After the unusually large increases recorded in May 2016 (mainly driven by the wildfires in northern Alberta) and in July 2016 (partly due to legislative changes to EI eligibility rules), claims in the province have fallen markedly, coinciding with improved labour market conditions.

In June, claims also increased in Ontario (+3.8%), Newfoundland and Labrador (+3.4%), Nova Scotia (+3.0%), Quebec (+2.7%) and Prince Edward Island (+2.1%). On the other hand, they decreased in Manitoba (-2.9%) and British Columbia (-1.5%), while they were little changed in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.

Compared with June 2016, EI claims were down 1.3% nationally, with the decline driven by Alberta (-18.6%) and, to a lesser extent, British Columbia (-2.5%) and Manitoba (-1.7%).

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170824/dq170824a-eng.htm?CMP=mstatcan

Labour Force Survey

July 2017

Following two months of notable increases, employment was little changed in July (+11,000 or +0.1%). As the number of people searching for work edged down, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points to 6.3%. This is the lowest rate since October 2008, just prior to the onset of the 2008-2009 labour market downturn.

In the 12 months to July, employment rose by 388,000 (+2.1%), mostly the result of increases in full-time work (+354,000 or +2.4%). Over this period, the number of hours worked increased by 1.9%.

 

Highlights

In July, employment increased among women aged 55 and older. There was little employment change among the other demographic groups.

Employment increased in Ontario and Manitoba, while it declined in Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador as well as in Prince Edward Island.

More people were employed in wholesale and retail trade; information, culture and recreation; manufacturing; transportation and warehousing; and natural resources. At the same time, employment fell in educational services, public administration and agriculture.

 

Employment increases for women aged 55 and older

Employment increased for a second consecutive month for women aged 55 and older, up 14,000 in July. Their unemployment rate was little changed at 5.4%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment for this group grew by 66,000 (+3.9%).

For men aged 55 and older, employment held steady in July. The unemployment rate for men in this age group declined 0.7 percentage points to 5.3%, as fewer of them searched for work. On a year-over-year basis, employment for men aged 55 and older increased by 69,000 (+3.4%).

Among workers aged 55 and older, 8 out of 10 were between the ages of 55 and 64. The estimated year-over-year employment growth rate for this group (unadjusted for seasonality) was 2.9%, relatively in line with their population increase (+2.1%). In comparison, people aged 65 and older comprised a smaller share of older workers, but their proportion has been increasing over the past decade. This group had the fastest year-over-year employment growth rate among the major demographic groups in July, rising 7.3% and outpacing their rate of population growth (+3.7%). For more information about recent trends among older workers, see "The impact of aging on labour market participation rates."

 

Core-age and youth employment little changed

Employment for people aged 25 to 54 held steady in July. The unemployment rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 5.6%, as more core-aged women searched for work. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment among men and women in this age group rose by 173,000 (+1.5%), with most of the gains occurring from October 2016 to March 2017.

In July, employment for youth aged 15 to 24 was little changed. As fewer youth searched for work, their unemployment rate fell 0.9 percentage points to 11.1%, the lowest rate since August 2008. On a year-over-year basis, youth employment was up by 80,000 (+3.3%).

 

Employment increases in Ontario and Manitoba

Employment in Ontario rose by 26,000 in July, and the unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points to 6.1%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was up 138,000 (+2.0%), with most of the increase in full-time work.

In Manitoba, the number of people working increased by 4,800 in July, continuing an upward trend that began in January. The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage points to 5.0%, the lowest rate among the provinces, and the lowest recorded in Manitoba since October 2014. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province rose by 13,000 (+2.1%), mainly in full-time work.

Overall employment in Quebec was little changed in July, as increases in full-time work were mostly offset by declines in part-time employment. In the 12 months to July, employment in the province was up 124,000 (+3.0%) and the unemployment rate fell 1.2 percentage points to 5.8%, the lowest rate since comparable data became available in 1976.

Employment in New Brunswick was little changed on both a monthly and year-over-year basis. As fewer people participated in the labour market, the unemployment rate declined by 1.6 percentage points to 6.5% in July, the lowest rate since comparable data became available in 1976. Since the start of 2017, unemployment has fallen in New Brunswick, while employment has been relatively unchanged. As a result, both the total labour force and the unemployment rate have fallen sharply.

Following three months of little change, employment declined by 14,000 in Alberta, and the unemployment rate increased 0.4 percentage points to 7.8% in July. Despite this decline, employment in the province increased by 35,000 (+1.5%) compared with 12 months earlier, led by gains in natural resources.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the number of workers fell by 5,300 in July, continuing a long-term downward trend, which has become more pronounced since 2016. The unemployment rate rose 0.8 percentage points to 15.7%, the highest rate since April 2010. In the 12 months to July, employment in the province declined by 13,000 (-5.4%).

Employment in Prince Edward Island was down by 1,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 10.0% as fewer people participated in the labour market. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province increased by 2,100 (+2.9%).

 

Employment gains in several industries

In July, employment in wholesale and retail trade increased by 22,000 (+0.8%). Employment in the industry has trended upwards since the latter part of 2016, coinciding with higher sales reported at both the wholesale and retail level. On a year-over-year basis, employment in this industry rose by 94,000 (+3.4%).

Employment in information, culture and recreation was up by 18,000 in July, but was little changed compared with 12 months earlier.

The number of people working in manufacturing rose by 14,000 in July, the third notable gain in five months. The increase in July was mainly in Quebec. Compared with 12 months earlier, national employment in this industry was up by 53,000 (+3.1%).

In transportation and warehousing, employment increased by 8,400 in July, largely in Ontario. On a year-over-year basis, employment in this industry rose by 33,000 (+3.6%).

In July, employment declined by 32,000 in educational services, mainly in Ontario and Alberta. Nationally, the decrease was largely in primary and secondary schools. Compared with July 2016, employment in this industry was virtually unchanged.

Employment in public administration fell by 10,000 in July. Despite this decline, employment in this industry increased by 48,000 (+5.3%) compared with 12 months earlier, with the bulk of the increase occurring in the second half of 2016.

In agriculture, employment also decreased by 10,000 in July, bringing total losses to 16,000 (-5.3%) on a year-over-year basis.

The number of employees in the private and public sectors was little changed in July. Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of private sector employees increased by 221,000 (+1.9%), while public sector employment rose by 135,000 (+3.8%).

The number of self-employed workers was little changed both on a monthly and year-over-year basis.

 

Summer employment for students

From May to August, the Labour Force Survey collects labour market data on youths aged 15 to 24 who were attending school full time in March and who intend to return full time in the fall. Published data are not seasonally adjusted; therefore, comparisons can only be made on a year-over-year basis.

In July, employment among students aged 15 to 24 rose 113,000 (+9.1%) compared with July 2016. From July 2010 to July 2016, employment for this group had declined by 80,000 (-6.0%), reaching a recent low point in 2016. In the 12 months to July 2017, their unemployment rate declined 2.5 percentage points to 13.9%, the lowest rate since 2008.

For students aged 20 to 24, employment increased by 39,000 (+7.6%) compared with 12 months earlier. At the same time, their unemployment rate edged down 1.3 percentage points to 6.8%, a similar rate to the one observed in July 2008.

Employment for students aged 17 to 19 was up by 62,000 (+12.1%) compared with July 2016, when employment for these students reached a recent low point. In the 12 months to July, the unemployment rate for 17- to 19-year-old returning students fell 3.4 percentage points to 13.9%, the lowest rate for the month of July since 2008.

Compared with 12 months earlier, employment increased by 12,000 (+5.6%) for students aged 15 and 16, and the unemployment rate edged down 2.4 percentage points to 27.9%.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170804/dq170804a-eng.htm?CMP=mstatcan

Payroll Employment, Earnings & Hours

There was a small change in average weekly earnings of payroll employees in British Columbia in May (seasonally adjusted, current dollars), with wages in the province averaging $939.99, compared to $934.23 a month earlier. Nationally, earnings averaged $972.41 per week, a rise of 0.1% from April. British Columbia’s average weekly earnings ranked behind four provinces and each of the three territories, with earnings across the country ranging from a high of $1356.20 in the Northwest Territories to a low of $820.56 in Prince Edward Island.

Source: Statistics Canada

BC Stats Infoline

June 2017

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $974 in June, little changed from the previous month, and up 1.8% compared with 12 months earlier.

In general, changes in weekly earnings reflect a number of factors, including wage growth; changes in the composition of employment by industry, occupation and level of job experience; and average hours worked per week.

Non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 32.7 hours per week in June, unchanged compared with May, and down from 33.0 hours in June 2016.

 

Average weekly earnings by sector

In the 12 months to June, average weekly earnings rose in 6 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by wholesale trade. At the same time, earnings declined in construction, and were little changed in administrative and support services, manufacturing and retail trade.

In wholesale trade, average weekly earnings rose 3.8% to $1,199, with most of the increases occurring in the first three months of 2017. The earnings gains were spread across the majority of the sub-sectors. Ontario and Quebec contributed the most to the earnings growth in this sector.

Average weekly earnings in public administration increased 3.5% to $1,262, mainly in federal public administration and local, municipal and regional public administration. Coinciding with activities related to the 2016 Census, employment in federal public administration reached a recent high in June 2016, and therefore, on a year-over-year basis, employment in this sub-sector declined notably in June.

Among accommodation and food services employees, average weekly earnings grew 3.5% to $388, mainly the result of gains in full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places. Earnings growth in accommodation and food services was spread across most provinces, led by British Columbia and Alberta. Average earnings in the sector have trended upwards since February 2017.

In educational services, average earnings rose 2.6% to $1,044, boosted by gains in elementary and secondary schools. Earnings growth in this sector was spread across most provinces.

Average earnings in professional, scientific and technical services were up 2.6% to $1,347, with the largest increases in Quebec and Ontario. Computer systems design and related services contributed the most to the growth.

For health care and social assistance employees, average weekly earnings increased 2.2% to $883, driven by gains in hospitals.

In contrast, average weekly earnings in construction fell 2.1% to $1,200, with specialty trade contractors contributing the most to the decline. Earnings in this sector decreased notably in Ontario.

 

Average weekly earnings by province

In the 12 months to June, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in seven provinces, led by Quebec. At the same time, earnings were little changed in Manitoba, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Average weekly earnings in Quebec rose 3.4% to $893. From a relatively low point in June 2016, earnings in the province have trended upward until January 2017. The year-over-year growth was spread across many sectors, and the largest contributors were health care and social assistance, as well as professional, scientific and technical services.

In Nova Scotia, earnings grew 2.4% to $857, driven by increases in educational services, and health care and social assistance. Earnings in the province have been on a slight upward trend in the second half of 2016.

Average earnings in Newfoundland and Labrador increased 2.1% to $1,046 per week. Construction contributed the most to the increase. At the same time, earnings in the province declined notably in manufacturing.

In British Columbia, average weekly earnings were up 1.8% to $945, led by wholesale trade, educational services and manufacturing. Earnings in the province have been on a long-term upward trend.

Average weekly earnings in Alberta rose 1.3% to $1,132, with notable gains in educational services; accommodation and food services; and administrative and support services. Earnings in the province have been relatively stable since the summer of 2016.

In Saskatchewan, average weekly earnings increased 1.2% to $1,002. Transportation and warehousing; health care and social assistance; public administration, and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction contributed the most to the rise.

Earnings in Ontario were up 1.1% to an average of $990 per week, boosted by gains in professional, scientific and technical services and public administration. Earnings in the province have been relatively stable since the start of 2017.

 

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

The number of non-farm payroll jobs rose by 79,700 (+0.5%) from May. The number of payroll employees increased the most in public administration, mainly in local, municipal and regional public administration. Payroll employment also rose notably in professional, scientific and technical services; retail trade; accommodation and food services; and health care and social assistance. At the same time, the number of payroll jobs declined notably in information and cultural industries.

Compared with June 2016, the number of payroll employees rose by 281,000 (+1.8%). Increases were observed across the majority of the sectors, led by professional, scientific and technical services (+39,500 or +4.6%). Payroll employment in this sector has trended upward since August 2016. The number of payroll jobs also increased notably in health care and social assistance (+37,100 or +2.0%), accommodation and food services (+36,000 or +2.8%), construction (+29,900 or +3.1%), and manufacturing (+24,300 or +1.6%).

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170830/dq170830b-eng.htm?CMP=mstatcan