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Introduction

September 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

5.2

 

 

 

 

 

In August 2017, the unemployment rate in BC is 5.1% and 8.1% in Alberta.

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


Labour Force

BC Highlights

The unemployment rate in British Columbia was 5.1% in August, down from 5.3% in July and below the 5.5% it was 12 months ago. Compared to July, the labour force declined (-8,400), with the number of unemployed falling (-7,200), and a slight reduction in employment (-1,200). Over the past twelve months, job growth (+92,300) outpaced the growth in the labour force (+84,900).

Compared to July, there were 27,400 more part-time jobs, and 28,600 fewer full-time jobs. Full-time jobs decreased for both workers aged 15 to 24 years (‑14,400 or -7.3%) and 25 to 54 years of age (-13,700 or -1.0%). On the other hand, part-time employment grew mainly for those aged 25 to 54 years of age (+22,700 or +10.6%), compared to growth for those aged 15 to 24 years (+2,000 or +1.2%).

In August, employment in the public (-3,300) and private (-6,700) sectors diminished, while the number of self-employed individuals increased (+8,700).

Provincial Comparisons

At 5.1%, British Columbia’s unemployment rate was the second lowest in Canada during the month of August, behind Manitoba (4.9%). Ontario (5.7%) had the third lowest unemployment rate. At 8.1%, Alberta’s unemployment rate remained the fourth highest among the provinces.

Gender

In August, employment in British Columbia for men (aged 25 years and over) added 7,000 jobs, while the labour force increased by 1,800. As a result, the unemployment rate was 4.1%, down 0.4 percentage points from the previous month.

For women (aged 25 years and over), employment grew by 4,100 jobs. The labour force contracted by 3,300, resulting in the unemployment rate dropping to 4.4% (‑0.7 percentage points).

Compared to August 2016, the unemployment rate for men was down by 1.7 percentage points to 4.1%, and for women it was down by 0.4 percentage points to 4.4%. Jobs for men increased by 45,100 (+4.2%) compared to a year ago, and for women employment climbed by 38,900 (+4.0%).

Youths Aged 15 to 24 Years

The unemployment rate for youth aged 15 to 24 years rose to 9.8% in August, up 1.6 percentage points from the previous month. Employment decreased by 12,400 jobs and the labour force contracted by 6,900 people. All job losses for youth were in full-time employment (‑14,400 jobs), with part-time employment (+2,000) adding positions. Compared to August 2016, the unemployment rate for youth increased by 3.1 percentage points to 9.8%.

Industry

In August, employment in the goods-producing sector was relatively unchanged (‑1,600 or ‑0.3%) overall. There were employment gains in agriculture (+2,900 or +11.8%) and utilities (+700 or +5.7%). Employment decreased for manufacturing (-2,500 or -1.4%), construction (‑1,700 or ‑0.7%), and forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas (-1,000 or -2.0%). Compared to August 2016, the goods-producing sector gained 30,200 (+6.5%) jobs.

Employment in the services-producing sector saw little change, adding 300 (+0.0%) jobs in August. Industries posting gains included professional, scientific and technical services (+6,000 or +3.0%), health care and social assistance (+5,100 or +1.7%), wholesale and retail trade (+5,100 or +1.4%), and educational services (+1,200 or +0.7%). Accommodation and food services accounted for the largest decline in the sector (-6,800 or -3.7%), followed by transportation and warehousing (‑3,400 or ‑2.4%) and information, culture and recreation (-3,300 or -2.3%). The services-producing sector expanded by 62,100 (+3.2%) jobs since August 2016.

BC Stats Infoline

Employment Insurance

The number of people receiving employment insurance (EI) benefits in British Columbia increased by 740 (+1.5%) in July compared to the previous month, to reach 50,980 individuals. The increase was concentrated among women (+5.0%), while the number of male beneficiaries fell by 1.0%.

British Columbia saw the largest increase in EI recipients among census metropolitan areas in Abbotsford-Mission (+23.6%) and Victoria (+6.2%), while Vancouver (-0.1) and Kelowna (-1.3%) saw declines for the month.

The number of EI claims (an indicator of the number of future beneficiaries) increased 12.1% in July compared to the previous month, the largest increase among provinces. The number of claims is likely to have been influenced by the large number of people displaced and the economic disruptions caused by the forest fires in several areas of British Columbia during the summer.

Nationally, there was also an increase in recipients, with 6,750 more people collecting EI, a 1.3% increase compared to June. The number of women receiving EI nationally was up (+4.6%), while the number of men collecting EI fell slightly by 0.7% for the month. The number of EI claims grew by 2.7% in July to reach 245,200.

Data Source: Statistics Canada

BC Stats Infoline

July 2017

In July, 536,600 people received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, up 6,800 (+1.3%) from June. This is the first increase in the number of beneficiaries in eight months. The increase reflects a reduction in the waiting period to receive EI benefits from two weeks to one week, effective January 1, 2017, which disproportionately affected occupations in educational services in July. The reference week for July 2017 falls two weeks after the end of the school year for many school boards across Canada, and with the reduced waiting period, more beneficiaries in education were observed during that time than was the case in previous years.

Six provinces had more beneficiaries, led by Manitoba (+11.8%). Increases also occurred in Prince Edward Island (+4.5%), New Brunswick (+2.3%), Ontario (+1.8%), Nova Scotia (+1.5%) and British Columbia (+1.5%). The number of beneficiaries was little changed in the remaining provinces, with the exception of Saskatchewan, where the number of beneficiaries decreased 2.9%.

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.

Nationally, there were 8.7% fewer beneficiaries on a year-over-year basis. This decrease was largely attributable to the unusually high number of beneficiaries in July 2016, coinciding with the introduction of legislative changes to the EI program. These changes eliminated higher eligibility requirements for new entrants and re-entrants to the labour market, simplified job-search responsibilities for beneficiaries, and extended the duration of EI benefits for regions affected by the 2014-2016 commodities downturn. Consequently, historical comparisons with July 2016 are not recommended and the rest of this analysis focuses on month-to-month changes.

Provincial and sub-provincial overview

In July, 17,500 people in Manitoba received regular EI benefits, up 11.8% from the previous month. This is the largest increase in the province since March 2009, and it coincides with both the end of the school year and a number of large companies reducing their workforces simultaneously in the province.

The number of beneficiaries in Prince Edward Island increased by 4.5% in July to 7,800, with most of this growth occurring in areas outside of census agglomerations (CAs).

In New Brunswick, 32,500 people received benefits in July, up 2.3% from the previous month. Increases were observed throughout the province, particularly in CAs (+5.0%).

The number of beneficiaries in Nova Scotia rose by 1.5% in July to 28,000. Increases occurred in all areas of the province, most notably in the CMA of Halifax (+4.3%).

In Ontario, 135,400 people received benefits in July, up 1.8% from June.

The number of beneficiaries in British Columbia increased by 1.5% to 51,000 in July.

Saskatchewan was the only province in which the number of beneficiaries decreased, from 18,700 in June to 18,100 in July (-2.9%).

In July, the number of beneficiaries in Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and Alberta was little changed from June.

Employment Insurance beneficiaries in major demographic groups

The number of female beneficiaries increased across all age groups (+4.6%) between June and July, while the number of male beneficiaries was little changed. This partially reflects women's overrepresentation in professional occupations in education services, given that July is generally the first month of summer break for primary and secondary schools.

Employment Insurance claims

The number of EI claims totalled 245,200 in July, up 2.7% from June. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries.

The greatest increase in claims occurred in British Columbia (+12.1%), which may reflect forest fires that prompted the declaration of a provincial state of emergency from July 7 to September 15. The number of claims also increased in Ontario (+8.5%), Manitoba (+4.0%) and Saskatchewan (+2.8%), while it decreased in Newfoundland and Labrador (-8.6%), Quebec (-2.7%), Alberta (-2.1%), Prince Edward Island (-2.0%) and New Brunswick (-1.7%). The number of claims in Nova Scotia was largely unchanged from June.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170921/dq170921a-eng.htm?CMP=mstatcan

 


Labour Force Survey

August 2017

Employment was little changed in August (+22,000 or +0.1%). The unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage points to 6.2%, matching the most recent low of October 2008, the month prior to the 2008-2009 labour-market downturn.

An increase in the number of people working part time (+110,000) was mostly offset by a decline in the number of people employed full time (-88,000). While the increase in part-time employment was spread across the age groups, most of the decrease in full-time employment occurred for youth aged 15 to 24. The overall employment decline for youth was accompanied by a notable decrease in their labour force participation.

In the 12 months to August, employment rose by 374,000 (+2.1%), with gains in both full-time (+213,000 or +1.5%) and part-time work (+161,000 or +4.6%). Over this period, the number of hours worked increased by 2.2%.

Highlights

From July to August, there were more employed men and women aged 55 and older. In contrast, there was a decline in the number of employed youths aged 15 to 24. Employment held steady for the core-aged demographic group of 25- to- 54 year-olds.

Provincially, Ontario was the lone province with a notable employment gain in August. Employment declined in Nova Scotia and was little changed in the other provinces.

In August, more people were working in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing as well as in transportation and warehousing. At the same time, employment fell in manufacturing, in the "other services" industry and in natural resources.

There were more self-employed workers in August, while the number of employees was little changed in both the private and public sectors.

More workers aged 55 and older

For men aged 55 and older, employment increased by 28,000 in August after five months of little change. The unemployment rate for men in this age group rose by 0.3 percentage points to 5.6%, the result of more people participating in the labour market. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment for men aged 55 and older increased by 85,000 (+4.1%).

Employment for women aged 55 and older increased for the third consecutive month, up 20,000 in August. The unemployment rate for this group was 5.1%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment for women aged 55 and older grew by 75,000 (+4.4%).

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 3.4% in August, 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 (+4.5%) than for men (+2.5%).

In comparison, people aged 65 and older comprise a smaller share of older workers, but they had the fastest year-over-year employment growth rate (unadjusted for seasonality) among the major demographic groups in August, rising 9.2% and outpacing their rate of population growth (+3.7%). Among this group of workers, employment grew at a faster pace for men (+10.8%) than for women (+6.8%). For more information about recent trends among older workers, see "The impact of aging on labour market participation rates."

Fewer youth in employment

Youth employment fell by 33,000 in August, as a decline in full-time work (-66,000) was partially offset by an increase in part-time work (+33,000). The overall employment decline for youth was accompanied by a notable decrease in their labour force participation. The youth unemployment rate was 11.5% in August. Compared with 12 months earlier, youth employment was little changed.

Employment for people aged 25 to 54 held steady in August and the unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 5.4%, as fewer men and women in this age group looked for work. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment among the core-aged population rose by 195,000 (+1.6%), with most of the gains occurring from October 2016 to March 2017.

Employment up in Ontario

In Ontario, employment rose by 31,000 in August, the third increase in four months. The unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points to 5.7%, the lowest level since January 2001. Compared with August 2016, employment in Ontario was up by 154,000 (+2.2%) and the unemployment rate was down by a full percentage point.

Overall employment in Quebec was little changed for the second consecutive month. In the 12 months to August, employment in the province rose by 93,000 (+2.3%), with nearly two-thirds of this increase in full-time employment. Over the same 12 month period, the unemployment rate fell 0.9 percentage points to 6.1%.

In Alberta, employment held steady in August and the unemployment rate edged up to 8.1%, as more people searched for work. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province rose by 34,000 (+1.5%), with nearly all of the increase in full-time work. The added employment over the same period was driven by gains in transportation and warehousing, manufacturing and natural resources.

In August, there were 5,600 fewer employed people in Nova Scotia, leaving employment for the province at about the same level as 12 months earlier. With the employment decline in August, the unemployment rate in Nova Scotia rose by a full percentage point to 8.9%.

Employment in New Brunswick was little changed for the seventh consecutive month. However, the unemployment rate increased by 1.3 percentage points to 7.8% as more people searched for work. Compared with August 2016, employment in New Brunswick remained relatively unchanged and the unemployment rate fell by 1.5 percentage points.

Industry perspective

Employment in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing rose by 15,000 in August, bringing gains from 12 months earlier to 47,000 (+4.2%), with most of this increase concentrated from September 2016 to January 2017. The additional employment in August was mainly in Ontario.

In August, employment increased by 9,800 in transportation and warehousing, continuing an upward trend that began in February 2016. On a year-over-year basis, employment in this industry increased by 44,000 (+4.8%).

The number of people working in manufacturing fell by 11,000 in August, mostly offsetting the increase from the previous month. The decline in August was largely in Quebec. Compared with 12 months earlier, national employment in this industry was up by 40,000 (+2.3%), mostly the result of gains since February 2017.

Employment in the "other services" industry declined by 11,000 in August, continuing a downward trend that began at the start of 2017. "Other services" include services related to civic and professional organizations, as well as repair and maintenance services.

The number of people employed in natural resources declined by 7,700 in August, offsetting the increase from the previous month. Following steep declines from April 2014 through the summer of 2016, employment in the industry has slowly trended up.

The number of self-employed workers rose by 33,000 in August, contributing to year-over-year gains of 101,000 (+3.7%).

The number of employees in both the private and public sectors was little changed in August. Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of private sector employees increased by 196,000 (+1.7%), while public sector employment rose by 77,000 (+2.1%).

Summer employment for students

From May to August, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) 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.

For returning students aged 15 to 24, average employment for the summer (that is, from May to August) increased by 47,000 (+4.1%) compared with the summer of 2016. Most of the growth was in Quebec (+33,000). At the national level, the largest increase was in retail and wholesale trade (+28,000), followed by manufacturing (+13,000), health care and social assistance (+9,000), and information, culture and recreation (+7,000).

The average employment rate for students aged 15 to 24 in the summer of 2017 was 50.5%, up 1.8 percentage points from 2016. Over the same period, the average unemployment rate declined from 15.6% in 2016 to 14.3% in 2017.

Among students aged 20 to 24, average employment increased by 14,000 (+2.8%) in the summer of 2017 compared with the previous summer. Their employment rate was 65.5% in 2017, little changed from the summer of 2016 and their unemployment rate stood at 9.0%, also little changed.

In the summer of 2017, average employment growth was particularly strong among students aged 17 to 19 (+26,000 or +5.5%) compared with the previous summer. The average employment rate for this group of students was 57.3% in the summer of 2017, up from 55.1% the previous summer. Their average unemployment rate was 13.8%, down from the rate of 15.3% in the summer of 2016.

Among 15 and 16 year-old students, employment was little changed in the summer of 2017 compared with the previous summer. Their employment rate was 26.2% in the summer of 2017 and their unemployment rate stood at 26.8%.

Canada–United States comparison

Adjusted to US concepts, the unemployment rate in Canada was 5.3% in August compared with 4.4% in the United States. In the 12 months to August, the unemployment rate fell by 0.6 percentage points in Canada and by 0.5 percentage points in the United States.

The labour force participation rate in Canada (adjusted to US concepts) was 65.7% in August, compared with 62.9% in the United States. On a year-over-year basis, the participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage points in Canada, while it edged up 0.1 percentage points in the United States.

The US-adjusted employment rate in Canada stood at 62.2% in August, compared with 60.1% in the United States. On a year-over-year basis, the employment rate rose by 0.6 percentage points in Canada and by 0.4 percentage points in the United States.

For further 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/170908/dq170908a-eng.htm?CMP=mstatcan

Payroll Employment, Earnings & Hours

Average Weekly Earnings

Average weekly earnings of payroll employees in British Columbia (seasonally adjusted, current dollars) increased by $4.68 from May to reach $944.56 in June 2017, a 0.5% increase. Nationally, earnings averaged $973.52 per week, a rise of 0.3% from May.

British Columbia’s average weekly earnings ranked eighth, behind four provinces and three territories, with earnings across the country ranging from a high of $1,409.28 in the Northwest Territories to a low of $818.17 in Prince Edward Island.

Compared to June 2016, average weekly earnings in British Columbia increased by 1.8% in June 2017, on par with the national average. This is the eleventh consecutive year-over-year increase of average weekly earnings in British Columbia.

Note that average weekly earnings change due to a number of factors including wage growth, changes in occupation or job experience, changes in the average work week, and changes in the number of people employed in different industries.

Source: Statistics Canada

BC Stats Infoline

July 2017

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $970 in July, little changed from the previous month. Compared with July 2016, earnings were up 1.8%.

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 32.6 hours per week in July, little changed from both the previous month and July 2016.

Average weekly earnings by sector

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

Average weekly earnings in accommodation and food services rose 6.8% to $387, partly due to the fact that earnings were relatively low in July 2016. Earnings in this sector have trended upward since February 2017. The year-over-year earnings growth was spread across most provinces, with the largest increases in Alberta and British Columbia. Among the provinces, British Columbia contributed the most to the national growth. At the national level, the growth was driven by full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places—the largest industry in this sector.

In wholesale trade, average weekly earnings were up 5.0% to $1,200, boosted by earnings gains for wholesalers of machinery, equipment and supplies. Most of the year-over-year earnings growth in wholesale trade occurred in the first three months of 2017.

Among employees in administrative and support services, average weekly earnings increased 3.8% to $798, largely attributable to increased earnings in employment services.

Average earnings in professional, scientific, and technical services rose 2.7% to $1,346. Most of the increase was due to a combination of employment and earnings growth in computer systems design and related services, the highest paying industry within this sector.

In health care and social assistance, average weekly earnings grew 2.1% to $882, led by earnings growth for employees working in hospitals. Earnings growth was larger in most of the Eastern provinces, notably Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Quebec.

On the other hand, average weekly earnings in construction fell 2.4% to $1,212, down from a relatively high point in July 2016. The year-over-year earnings decrease was mainly attributable to specialty trade contractors, the same subsector that contributed the most to the earnings growth in July 2016. Among the provinces, Alberta had the largest earnings decline in this sector.

Average weekly earnings by province

In the 12 months to July, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in six provinces, led by British Columbia. At the same time, earnings were little changed in New Brunswick, Alberta, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Continuing a long-term upward trend, average weekly earnings in British Columbia grew 3.3% to $941. The largest contributors to this increase were educational services, wholesale trade, and transportation and warehousing.

In Manitoba, earnings rose 2.6% to $909 per week. Educational services contributed the most to this increase, along with finance and insurance as well as transportation and warehousing.

Average earnings in Quebec increased 2.5% to $897, driven by increases in health care and social assistance as well as professional, scientific, and technical services. Average weekly earnings in Quebec have been fairly stable since March 2017.

In Nova Scotia, average weekly earnings grew 2.1% to $862. The increase was largely driven by gains in health care and social assistance, one of the largest sectors in the province.

Average weekly earnings in Saskatchewan were up 1.9% to $1,003. Gains from sectors such as transportation and warehousing were partially offset by losses in finance and insurance.

In Ontario, average weekly earnings increased 1.4% to $984. Earnings in Ontario have been relatively stable since the start of 2017. The largest contributor to the increase was a combination of employment and earnings growth in the relatively high-paying professional, scientific, and technical services sector. Wholesale trade also contributed notably to the provincial earnings increase.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

The number of non-farm payroll jobs was little changed from June to July. However, the number of payroll employees increased in educational services, while the number of payroll jobs declined in accommodation and food services and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.

Compared with July 2016, the number of payroll employees rose by 300,300 (+1.9%). Increases were observed in most sectors, led by educational services (+36,400 or +2.9%), and health care and social assistance (+35,100 or +1.9%). In both of these sectors, employment growth was spread across most of the subsectors/industries.

There was also notable employment growth in professional scientific and technical services (+30,500 or +3.5%); retail trade (+29,600 or +1.5%); manufacturing (+28,600 or +1.9%); accommodation and food services (+26,700 or +2.1%); and construction (+24,800 or +2.5%).

Recent labour market developments

In the 12 months to July, the pace of employment growth has been similar in both of Statistics Canada's monthly surveys with data on employment: the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH) and the Labour Force Survey (LFS).

During this period, both surveys showed similar trends in employment for Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. For example, in Quebec, the number of payroll employees in SEPH grew 1.7%, while average weekly earnings were up 2.5%. At the same time, LFS data showed growth in total employment in the province, with the unemployment rate dropping to 5.8%.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170928/dq170928a-eng.htm?CMP=mstatcan