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Introduction

May 2018

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

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

10.1

10.5

2017

10.5

8.7

6.5

5.5

7.0

7.3

6.6

5.2

5.2

6.0

5.3

4.6

2018

3.8

4.5

5.7

6.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In April 2018, the unemployment rate in BC is 4.9% and 6.7% in Alberta.

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


Labour Force

BC Highlights

The unemployment rate in British Columbia was 5.0% in April, up from 4.7% in March, but below the 5.4% from 12 months ago. The size of both the labour force (+11,000) and the number of employed (+2,900) grew since March. Compared to 12 months ago, job growth (+23,000) has outpaced the growth in the labour force (+13,900).

There were 18,200 more full-time jobs in April and 15,300 fewer part-time jobs compared to March. Most of the gains in full-time jobs were observed for the 25 to 54 (+7,700) and 15 to 24 (+6,600) age groups, while those aged 55 and over saw a smaller increase (+3,700). Part-time employment went down for the 25 to 54 (‑8,200) and the 15 to 24 (‑8,000) age groups, while those aged 55 and over had more part-time jobs (+1,000).

In April, employment in the public sector was up (+1,500), while there were fewer employees in the private sector (‑3,800). The number of self-employed individuals grew (+5,200) compared to March.

Provincial Comparisons

At 5.0%, British Columbia’s unemployment rate was the lowest in Canada during the month of April. Quebec had the second lowest unemployment rate (5.4%), followed by Ontario (5.6%), while Alberta’s unemployment rate (6.7%) was tied for sixth highest among the provinces.

Gender

In April, employment in British Columbia for men (aged 25 years and over) added 1,100 jobs, while the labour force grew by 3,600. As a result, the unemployment rate was 4.5%, up from 4.3% for the previous month.

For women (aged 25 years and over), employment increased by 3,100 jobs in April. The labour force increased by 3,000, which resulted in the unemployment rate remaining at 4.3%.

Compared to April 2017, the unemployment rate for men was down by 0.5 percentage points to 4.5%, and for women it was down 0.1 percentage points to 4.3%. Jobs for men increased by 27,800 (+2.5%) compared to a year ago, and employment for women grew by 9,200 (+0.9%).

Youth Aged 15 to 24 Years

The unemployment rate for youth aged 15 to 24 years was 8.7% in April, up 1.4 percentage points from the previous month. Total employment decreased by 1,300, while 4,400 individuals joined the labour force. The addition of 6,600 full-time positions could not offset the loss of 8,000 part-time jobs.

Compared to April 2017, the unemployment rate for youth was down 0.6 percentage points to 8.7%.

Industry

Employment in the goods-producing sector was up (+4,000 or +0.8%) in April. Manufacturing (+3,000 or +1.7%) saw the largest increase, followed by agriculture (+2,200 or +9.7%) and utilities (+200 or +1.5%). On the other hand, construction (‑900 or ‑0.4%) and forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas (‑600 or ‑1.2%) lost positions. In the twelve months to April, the goods-producing sector added 22,400 (+4.6%) jobs.

In April, overall employment was down for the services-producing sector (‑1,100 or ‑0.1%) compared to the previous month. Within industries, finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (‑6,400 or ‑4.1%) posted the largest decrease, followed by business, building and other support services (‑4,200 or ‑4.1%) and wholesale and retail trade (‑2,300 or ‑0.6%). Conversely, professional, scientific and technical services (+5,900 or +2.9%) added positions, while employment for accommodation and food services (+5,000 or +2.8%) and transportation and warehousing (+3,900 or +3.0%) increased as well. Since April 2017, the services-producing sector has added 500 (+0.0%) positions.

Visit the Labour Market Statistics page for detailed data tables and other resources.

BC Stats Infoline

Employment Insurance

The number of people receiving employment insurance (EI) benefits in British Columbia decreased by 1,440 (‑3.2%) in March compared to February, to reach 43,610 individuals. The decrease was equally distributed between male (-720 persons or -2.7%) and female recipients (-720 persons or -4.0%).

The decrease in beneficiaries in British Columbia was widespread across census metropolitan areas (-630 persons or -2.9%), census agglomerations (-550 persons or -4.4%) and outside census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations (-270 persons or -2.6%). Among census metropolitan areas, Abbotsford-Mission observed the largest percentage decline (-190 persons or -9.7%).

The number of EI claims in British Columbia (an indicator of the number of future EI recipients) went down by 2.6% in March compared to the previous month.

Nationally, the number of EI beneficiaries decreased in March, with 7,250 fewer people collecting EI, a 1.5% contraction compared to February. Although the number of women receiving EI declined in the month (‑550 persons or -0.3%), the decrease was almost entirely driven by fewer male recipients (‑6,700 persons or ‑2.3%). The number of EI claims went up by 1.6% in March to reach 227,020. Claims increased in five of the provinces, led by Quebec (+7.2%) and Ontario (+3.4%).

Data Source: Statistics Canada

BC Stats Infoline

March 2018

In March, 471,500 people received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, down 7,300 (-1.5%) from February. The decline continues a downward trend in the number of beneficiaries that began in the autumn of 2016.

There were fewer beneficiaries in six provinces, led by British Columbia (-3.2%), Quebec (-2.6%) and Alberta (-2.4%). Smaller declines occurred in Manitoba (-1.6%), New Brunswick (-1.2%) and Ontario (-1.2%). The number of recipients rose slightly in Nova Scotia (+1.4%) and Prince Edward Island (+1.0%), while there was little change in the other provinces.

In the 12 months to March, the number of EI recipients in Canada fell by 76,700 (-14.0%). Over the same period, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) showed the unemployment rate declining by 0.8 percentage points to 5.8%, matching a record low since comparable data became available in 1976.

In general, variations in the number of beneficiaries can reflect changes in the circumstances in a number of different groups, including those becoming beneficiaries, those going back to work, those exhausting their regular benefits, and those no longer receiving benefits for other reasons.

Provincial and sub-provincial overview

In British Columbia, 43,600 people received regular benefits in March, down 3.2% from February. This continues a downward trend that began in the autumn of 2016. Declines were observed across the province in March, with notable decreases in the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) of Abbotsford–Mission (-9.7%) and Kelowna (-4.5%). In the 12 months to March, the number of EI recipients declined by 17.6% in the province. Over the same period, the LFS unemployment rate in British Columbia fell by 0.6 percentage points to 4.7%, the lowest among all provinces.

In March, EI recipients in Quebec totalled 108,500, down 2.6% from the previous month. The number of beneficiaries has trended down sharply, especially since the summer of 2017. The unemployment rate has also been on a constant downward trend and reached 5.6% in March, approaching the record low of 5.0% in December 2017. Declines in March were observed in the CMAs of Montréal (-3.3%) and Québec (-1.5%). There were also fewer beneficiaries (-2.6%) in areas outside of the CMAs and census agglomerations (CAs). Compared with March 2017, the number of beneficiaries fell by 19.6%. According to quarterly data from the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS), Quebec has posted continuous year-over-year increases in job vacancies since the second half of 2016.

In Alberta, 60,100 people received benefits in March, down 1,500 (-2.4%) from February. Decreases were observed throughout the province, led by the CAs (-4.8%). Compared with March 2017, Alberta recorded the fastest year-over-year decline in the number of beneficiaries among the provinces, down 26.4%. Data from the JVWS showed that job vacancies in Alberta have increased on a year-over-year basis since the first quarter of 2017. Coinciding with the declining trend in the number of beneficiaries and an increase in job vacancies, the province recorded real gross domestic product growth of 4.9% in 2017, following declines of 3.9% in 2015 and 3.6% in 2016.

In Manitoba, 15,500 people received benefits in March, down 1.6% from the previous month. The CMA of Winnipeg led the decline (-3.6%). Compared with March 2017, the number of beneficiaries in Manitoba was little changed as a decrease in the Winnipeg CMA (-5.4%) was offset by more beneficiaries in regions outside of the CMAs and CAs (+6.9%).

The number of beneficiaries in New Brunswick fell for the fourth consecutive month in March, albeit slightly (-1.2%). Decreases were observed in the province's CAs (-4.1%). In the 12 months to March, the number of beneficiaries in New Brunswick declined by 10.4%.

EI beneficiaries in Ontario totalled 120,100 in March, down slightly (-1.2%) from the previous month. There were notable declines, however, in the CMAs of Oshawa (-4.7%) and Greater Sudbury (-4.4%). Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of beneficiaries in the province fell by 11.8%, and coincided with a 0.8 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate, reaching 5.5% in March, as reported in the LFS.

Following a decrease in February, the number of EI recipients in Nova Scotia rose slightly (+1.4%) in March to 27,400, the result of more recipients in areas outside of the CMA and CAs (+3.4%). Compared with March 2017, the number of beneficiaries in Nova Scotia was down by 3.6%.

The number of people receiving EI benefits in Prince Edward Island also rose slightly (+1.0%) in March to 8,100. On a year-over-year basis, the number of recipients rose by 2.0%.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, 37,900 people received EI benefits in March, little changed from February. However, increases were observed in the CMA of St. John's (+3.4%). Compared with March 2017, the number of beneficiaries in the province rose by 1.9%.

There were 17,900 EI beneficiaries in Saskatchewan in March, little changed from February. In the 12 months to March, the number of beneficiaries in Saskatchewan was down 3.8%.

Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation

For a seventh consecutive month, the number of beneficiaries fell on a year-over-year basis in 9 of the 10 broad occupation groups. The largest declines in March were among those whose last job was in natural and applied sciences (-19.3%); manufacturing and utilities (-18.1%); trades, transport and equipment operators (-17.6%); as well as business, finance and administration (-15.1%). In the 12 months to March, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia posted year-over-year declines in all or virtually all broad occupation groups.

The lone exception was those whose last job was in education, law and social, community and government services, as the number of beneficiaries was virtually unchanged in March compared with 12 months earlier.

Employment Insurance beneficiaries in major demographic groups

Compared with February, there were fewer EI recipients among men (-2.3%) in March, affecting all major age groups. While the overall number of women receiving benefits was little changed, there was a 4.0% decline among young women aged 15 to 24.

In the 12 months to March, the number of beneficiaries declined in all major demographic groups, led by young men (-22.3%) and men aged 25 to 54 (-18.2%). Declines were sharper for men than for women across all age groups and coincided with declining unemployment rates for all demographic groups over the same period, as observed in the LFS.

Employment Insurance claims

The number of claims totalled 227,000 in March, up 1.6% from February. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries.

Claims rose notably in Quebec (+7.2%), following a decline of similar magnitude in February. There were also more claims in Ontario (+3.4%) and New Brunswick (+3.2%), as well as in Newfoundland and Labrador (+2.2%). These increases were moderated by declines in Saskatchewan (-11.9%), Alberta (-8.9%) and British Columbia (-2.6%). At the same time, the number of claims fell slightly in Nova Scotia (-1.0%) and Manitoba (-1.0%), while there was little change in Prince Edward Island.

In the 12 months to March, claims decreased 1.4% nationally.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/180524/dq180524a-eng.htm?CMP=mstatcan

Labour Force Survey

April 2018

Employment was essentially unchanged in April and the unemployment rate held steady at 5.8%.

On a year-over-year basis, employment grew by 278,000 (+1.5%). The increase was due to gains in full-time employment (+378,000 or +2.6%), while part-time work declined (-100,000 or -2.8%). In the 12 months to April, total hours worked were up 1.9%.

Highlights

The number of employed core-aged women (25 to 54) increased from March to April. At the same time, employment decreased among youth aged 15 to 24.

Among the provinces, employment rose in Manitoba and Nova Scotia, while it declined in Saskatchewan.

More people worked in professional, scientific and technical services, as well as in accommodation and food services. In contrast, employment declined in wholesale and retail trade and in construction.

The number of public and private sector employees and the number of self-employed workers were little changed in April.

Employment rises for core-aged women, decreases for youth

For the core-age population, employment rose 29,000 in April, driven by an increase among women (+20,000). The employment gains for women in this group were all in full-time work. At the same time, the unemployment rate for the core age group rose 0.1 percentage points to 4.9%. On a year-over-year basis, the unemployment rate was down 0.7 percentage points, and employment increased for both core-aged men (+70,000 or +1.1%) and women (+57,000 or +1.0%).

For youths aged 15 to 24, employment fell by 23,000 in April, due entirely to a drop in part-time work. Despite the decline in employment, the unemployment rate for this age group was little changed at 11.1%, as fewer youths participated in the labour market. In comparison with April 2017, youth employment was virtually unchanged. From May to August, the Labour Force Survey will be collecting 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.

Among people aged 55 and over, employment was little changed as a decline in the number of employed men was mostly offset by an increase for women. At the same time, the unemployment rate for this age group remained at 5.3%. On a year-over-year basis, employment for people aged 55 and over grew by 149,000 (+3.9%), outpacing their population growth rate (+2.9%). The employment growth was faster for women (+98,000 or +5.7%) than for men (+51,000 or +2.4%).

Employment little changed in most provinces

In April, 4,100 more people worked in Manitoba, all in full-time employment. The unemployment rate was virtually unchanged at 6.1%. Compared with April 2017, the number of employed people in the province increased by 5,900 (+0.9%).

In Nova Scotia, employment increased by 2,700 in April. The unemployment rate continued on a downward trend, falling by 0.7 percentage points to 6.7%, the lowest rate since comparable data became available in 1976. On a year-over-year basis, employment was up 8,000 (+1.8%), largely due to a strong upward trend in full-time employment that began in the autumn of 2017.

There were 4,900 fewer employed people in Saskatchewan in April, and the unemployment rate rose 0.5 percentage points to 6.3%. Compared with April 2017, employment was little changed in the province.

In Ontario, employment held steady in April and the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.6%. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province rose by 133,000 or 1.9%, all in full-time work.

In Quebec, both employment and the unemployment rate were little changed in April. Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of people working in the province was up 73,000, largely as a result of growth in the second and fourth quarters of 2017. Over the same period, the unemployment rate declined by 1.0 percentage points to 5.4%.

The number of people working in British Columbia was little changed in April, as growth in full-time work was offset by a decline in part-time employment. At the same time, the unemployment rate increased by 0.3 percentage points to 5.0% as more people looked for work. Employment in the province has been relatively flat since June 2017, while on a year-over-year basis it was up 23,000 (+0.9%).

Industry perspective

Employment in professional, scientific and technical services rose by 21,000 in April, after trending down from November 2017 to February 2018. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the industry rose by 34,000 (+2.3%).

The number of people employed in accommodation and food services increased by 17,000 in April. Year-over-year gains were also recorded in the industry (+44,000 or +3.7%), partly due to employment being at a relatively low point in April 2017.

In wholesale and retail trade, employment fell by 22,000 in April and was little changed year over year. Employment in the industry rose steadily from October 2016 to September 2017, but has been trending down since the start of 2018.

Employment in construction was down by 19,000 in April, offsetting the gain in March. The number of people working in the industry was up 32,000 or 2.3% on a year-over-year basis, largely due to growth in the second half of 2017.

The number of employees in both the public and private sectors was little changed in April. On a year-over-year basis, there were 146,000 (+1.2%) more private sector employees, while the number of employees in the public sector grew by 75,000 (+2.0%).

Self-employment was also little changed in April. Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of self-employed workers was up 58,000 (+2.1%).

Canada-United States comparison

Adjusted to US concepts, the unemployment rate in Canada was 4.9% in April, compared with 3.9% in the United States. On a year-over-year basis, the unemployment rate fell 0.5 percentage points in both countries.

The labour force participation rate in Canada (adjusted to US concepts) was 65.3% in April, compared with 62.8% in the United States. In the 12 months to April, the participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage points in Canada, and 0.1 percentage points in the United States.

On a year-over-year basis, the employment rate in Canada (adjusted to US concepts) and the United States was relatively stable, at 62.1% and 60.3%, respectively.

For more information on Canada–US comparisons, see "Measuring Employment and Unemployment in Canada and the United States – A comparison."

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/180511/dq180511a-eng.htm?CMP=mstatcan

Payroll Employment, Earnings & Hours

March 2018

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $997 in March, unchanged from the previous month. Earnings were up 3.1% compared with 12 months earlier, mostly due to increases in the last six months of 2017.

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 32.9 hours per week in March, up from 32.8 hours in February and 32.6 hours in March 2017.

Average weekly earnings by sector

Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings increased in 6 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by accommodation and food services. At the same time, earnings were little changed in wholesale trade, educational services, manufacturing, and administrative and support services.

In accommodation and food services, average weekly earnings rose 6.6% to $404. Earnings in the sector have been on an upward trend since March 2017. Gains were driven by full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places and, to a lesser extent, by traveller accommodation. The increase in the sector was largely the result of growth in Ontario, where earnings in this sector have been on an upward trend since early 2017.

For payroll employees in retail trade, average weekly earnings rose 5.1% to $599, continuing an upward trend that began at the end of summer 2017. The growth was driven by increases in general merchandise stores, and in building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers. Earnings in the sector were up in most provinces, driven by Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec.

Average weekly earnings in construction grew 4.8% to $1,265 in March, almost entirely driven by gains in specialty trade contractors. Most provinces experienced earnings growth in the 12 months to March, with Ontario, Quebec and Alberta largely responsible for gains in the sector. On the other hand, average weekly earnings in construction declined in Newfoundland and Labrador, the lone decrease among the provinces.

In public administration, earnings grew 4.5% on a year-over-year basis to an average of $1,295 per week. Payroll employees in local, municipal and regional public administration recorded the largest percentage growth in average weekly earnings. Provincially, earnings growth was led by Ontario and Quebec.

Earnings in professional, scientific and technical services rose 2.5% to an average of $1,381 per week, boosted by growth in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. Employment gains in the high-paying computer systems design and related services industry, as well as gains in average weekly earnings in the architectural, engineering and related services industry, contributed the most to the earnings growth in the sector.

Average weekly earnings in health care and social assistance rose 1.5% to $893, with growth in most provinces. Ambulatory health care services contributed the most to the rise.

Average weekly earnings by province

In the 12 months to March, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in seven provinces, led by Quebec. At the same time, earnings were little changed in Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Average weekly earnings in Quebec rose 4.0% to $931, continuing an upward trend that began at the end of summer 2016. Earnings growth was widespread across the sectors, with professional, scientific and technical services; public administration; manufacturing; and construction accounting for a majority of the increase.

In Ontario, average weekly earnings increased 3.2% to $1,014. Earnings have been relatively stable, following a period of growth from August to December 2017. Finance and insurance, public administration and construction were the largest contributors to earnings growth in the province.

In British Columbia, average weekly earnings rose 2.9% to $962. Earnings increased in many sectors, with retail trade; educational services; wholesale trade; and professional, scientific and technical services contributing the most to the rise.

Average weekly earnings in Alberta were up 2.6% to $1,149 in March. Construction, along with real estate and rental and leasing, contributed the most to the year-over-year growth.

In New Brunswick, average weekly earnings rose 2.6% to $904. Earnings were up in a majority of sectors, driven by increases in health care and social assistance, public administration, and real estate and rental and leasing. A notable decline in information and cultural industries moderated earnings growth in the province.

Average weekly earnings in Manitoba were up 2.4% to $931. Earnings increased in most sectors, with manufacturing, retail trade, and real estate and rental and leasing contributing the most to the rise. On the other hand, these gains were moderated by an employment decline in the high-paying finance and insurance sector.

In Prince Edward Island, average weekly earnings were up 2.3% to $840 in March. Growth in health care and social assistance contributed the most to the increase.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

In March, the number of non-farm payroll employees was up 39,900 from February. The number of payroll jobs increased notably in professional, scientific and technical services; retail trade; health care and social assistance; and wholesale trade. At the same time, the number of payroll jobs declined in information and cultural industries.

Compared with March 2017, the number of payroll employees rose by 375,200 (+2.3%). Increases were observed across a majority of sectors, led by manufacturing (+46,100 or +3.1%) and health care and social assistance (+43,000 or +2.3%).

The number of payroll jobs also increased notably in professional, scientific and technical services (+40,100 or +4.5%); educational services (+37,300 or +2.9%); public administration (+33,500 or +3.1%); and wholesale trade (+29,200 or +3.8%). At the same time, a decline was observed in information and cultural industries (-9,000 or -2.6%).

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/180531/dq180531c-eng.htm?CMP=mstatcan