In May 2017, the
unemployment rate in BC is 5.5% and 8.4% in Alberta.
-- : suppressed to meet the
confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act
The unemployment rate in British Columbia
was 5.4% in March, up from 5.1% in February, but lower than it was in
March 2016, when it was 6.4%. Compared to February, there were 13,900
more people in the labour force. Employment grew (+4,200) during this
time period, but the number of unemployed also went up (+9,700). Over
the past twelve months, job growth (+81,900) was greater than the growth
in the labour force (+60,000).
Compared to February, there were 2,200
fewer full-time jobs, while part-time jobs increased by 6,300.
In March, employment in the public sector
went down (-6,900), while the number of jobs in the private sector grew
(+18,600). The number of self-employed individuals fell (-7,600) during
the same time period.
At 5.4%, British Columbia's unemployment
rate remained the lowest in Canada during the month of March. Manitoba
(5.5%) and Saskatchewan (6.0%) recorded the second and third lowest
unemployment rates. At 8.4%, Alberta's unemployment rate was tied at
sixth lowest among the provinces.
During the month of March, employment in
Canada was little changed (+19,400 or +0.1%), while the unemployment
rate rose 0.1 percentage points to 6.7% as more people searched for
In March, employment in British Columbia
for men (aged 25 years and over) grew by 2,900 jobs, while the labour
force increased by 7,600. As a result, the unemployment rate was 4.9%,
up 0.3 percentage points from the previous month.
For women (aged 25 years and over),
employment decreased by 2,300 jobs. The labour force also contracted,
though at a slower pace (-1,900), with the unemployment rate steady at
Compared to March 2016, the unemployment
rate for men was down by 1.0 percentage points to 4.9%, and for women it
was down by 0.4 percentage points to 4.3%. Jobs for men increased by
23,300 (+2.2%) compared to a year ago, and for women employment climbed
by 38,500 (+4.0%).
Youths Aged 15 to 24
The unemployment rate for youth aged 15
to 24 years rose by 1.0 percentage points to 9.7% in March. Employment
increased by 3,600 jobs while the labour force strengthened by 8,200
people. Compared to March 2016, the unemployment rate for youth
decreased by 2.8 percentage points to 9.7%.
In March, employment in the
goods-producing sector was relatively unchanged (-1,100 or -0.2%)
overall. The majority of the employment losses were in agriculture
(-2,500 or -8.7%) and construction (-1,700 or -0.8%). Employment
increased for forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas (+3,700
or +7.7%). Compared to March 2016, the goods-producing sector gained
9,800 (+2.1%) jobs.
Employment in the services-producing
sector increased by 5,300 (+0.3%) jobs in March. Industries posting
gains included information, culture and recreation (+12,000 or +9.3%),
wholesale and retail trade (+8,500 or +2.3%), and other services (+2,700
or +2.3%). Accommodation and food services accounted for the largest
decline in the sector (-7,500 or -4.1%), followed by educational
services (-6,600 or -4.0%) and public administration (-3,800 or -3.6%).
The services-produced sector expanded by 72,100 (+3.8%) jobs since March
BC Stats Infoline
The number of regular Employment
Insurance (EI) beneficiaries fell by 7,000 (-1.3%) to 541,200 in April,
a sixth consecutive monthly decline.
The number of people receiving benefits
decreased in four provinces, most notably in Alberta (-3.8%) and Ontario
(-2.3%), followed by Manitoba (-1.4%) and Quebec (-1.3%). Conversely,
the number of beneficiaries increased in Newfoundland and Labrador
(+2.3%), Saskatchewan (+1.6%) and Prince Edward Island (+1.3%). There
was little change in the remaining provinces.
On a year-over-year basis, the number of
people receiving benefits in Canada edged down 3,400 (-0.6%) in April.
In general, changes in the number of
beneficiaries reflect various situations, including people becoming
beneficiaries, those going back to work, and those no longer receiving
In Alberta, 79,200 people received
benefits in April, down 3.8% from the previous month. This was the sixth
consecutive monthly decline for the province. Data from the Labour Force
Survey (LFS) show that employment in the province has trended upward
since the autumn of 2016, following a downward trend that began in 2015.
Declines in the number of beneficiaries occurred throughout the
province, including the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) of Edmonton
(-3.9%) and Calgary (-2.5%). In the 12 months to April, the number of
beneficiaries was up 7.9% in the province, the smallest year-over-year
increase since January 2015.
In Ontario, 132,500 people received
benefits in April, 2.3% fewer beneficiaries than the previous month.
Most areas in the province recorded decreases in the number of
beneficiaries, including Windsor (-12.0%), Thunder Bay (-7.1%) and St.
Catharines-Niagara (-6.7%). On a year-over-year basis, the number of
people receiving benefits in Ontario declined by 5.0%. According to the
LFS, employment in Ontario grew by 1.2% in the 12 months to April. Over
this period, the unemployment rate hovered below the national average,
suggesting healthy labour market conditions. In April, the unemployment
rate in Ontario was 5.8% or 0.7 percentage points below the national
The number of beneficiaries in Manitoba
decreased in April, down 1.4% to 15,200, a third consecutive monthly
decline. Most of the provincial decrease occurred in the CMA of Winnipeg
In Quebec, the number of people receiving
benefits fell by 1.3% in April to 132,900, offsetting an equivalent
increase in the previous month. Decreases were observed throughout the
province, notably in the CMAs of Sherbrooke (-7.1%), Montreal (-1.6%)
and Quebec (-1.6%). In April, the number of beneficiaries matched the
level registered in February, which was the lowest level observed since
the series began in 1997. In the 12 months to April, the number of
beneficiaries in the province was down by 7.8%, the largest
year-over-year decrease observed among the provinces.
In April, the number of people receiving
benefits in Newfoundland and Labrador grew by 2.3% to 38,000. Although
the number of beneficiaries was up by 1.6% in the CMA of St. John's,
areas outside of this CMA and the census agglomerations (+2.7%)
accounted for most of the provincial increase. In April, the number of
beneficiaries was 14.1% greater than 12 months earlier.
In Saskatchewan, 18,900 people received
benefits in April, up 1.6% from the previous month. Increases were
observed in the CMAs of Regina (+3.6%) and Saskatoon (+2.1%), as well as
in areas outside CMAs and census agglomerations (+2.3%). On a
year-over-year basis, there were 16.3% more beneficiaries in April.
In April, the number of beneficiaries in
Prince Edward Island grew by 1.3% to 8,000. The rise occurred mainly in
areas outside census agglomerations (+1.6%).
beneficiaries by occupation
The number of beneficiaries rose in 6 of
the 10 broad occupational groups in the 12 months to April. The most
notable increase was in occupations in art, culture, recreation and
sport (+11.5%), followed by occupations in education, law and social,
community and government services (+7.6%). The number of beneficiaries
whose last job was in occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport
has trended upward since February 2016. Occupations in education, law
and social, community and government services is the only other group
for which the number of beneficiaries has trended upward in recent
In April, the number of beneficiaries
whose last job was in occupations in manufacturing and utilities (-5.1%)
and natural and applied science occupations (-3.9%) registered the
largest year-over-year decreases. The number of beneficiaries in
manufacturing and utilities was at the lowest level observed since 2008,
the beginning of the current occupational series. In the 12 months to
April, employment in this occupational group was up 3.7%, according to
beneficiaries in major demographic groups
In April, there was a decrease in the
number of male beneficiaries aged 15 to 24 (-2.4%) and those aged 25 to
54 (-2.3%) compared to the previous month. The other major demographic
groups were little changed.
On a year-over-year basis, the number of
male beneficiaries (-3.1%) decreased, while the number of female
beneficiaries (+3.8%) increased. For men, increases in the number of
beneficiaries among those aged 55 and older (+5.8%) partly offset
decreases among those aged 15 to 24 (-10.4%) and 25 to 54 (-4.9%). For
women, growth in the number of beneficiaries was observed across all age
Following little change in March, the
number of EI claims increased by 4.1% (+9,600) to 240,000 in April. The
number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who
could become beneficiaries.
In April, EI claims rose in five
provinces, led by Newfoundland and Labrador (+39.8%) and Saskatchewan
(+13.1%). The increase in Newfoundland and Labrador accounted for about
40% of the national net increase.
Notable increases in the number of claims
were also observed in Quebec (+5.5%) and Alberta (+4.7%), offsetting
declines observed in these provinces in March. On the other hand, the
number of claims fell in Manitoba (-1.8%) and New Brunswick (-1.3%).
Compared with April 2016, EI claims were
virtually unchanged at the national level.
Employment rose by 55,000 in May, spurred
by an increase in full-time work (+77,000). At the same time, the
unemployment rate rose by 0.1 percentage points to 6.6%, the result of
more people participating in the labour market. The employment increase
in May builds on gains since July 2016, when the current upward trend
Compared with 12 months earlier, there
were 317,000 (+1.8%) more people employed, mostly the result of
increases in full-time work. Over the same period, the total number of
hours worked rose 0.7%.
In May, employment increased among youth
aged 15 to 24 and men aged 25 to 54. At the same time, employment held
steady for women aged 25 to 54 and people 55 years of age and older.
Employment rose in Ontario, British
Columbia, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island. There was little change in
the other provinces.
In May, employment increased in several
industries, led by professional, scientific and technical services as
well as manufacturing. There were smaller increases in transportation
and warehousing; wholesale and retail trade; as well as health care and
social assistance. In contrast, fewer people worked in finance,
insurance, real estate, rental and leasing; information, culture and
recreation; and public administration.
The number of private sector employees
increased in May, while public sector employment and self-employment
were little changed.
Employment up for
youth and men aged 25 to 54
In May, employment among youth aged 15 to
24 rose by 28,000, the result of full-time gains, largely in Ontario and
British Columbia. This was the first notable increase for youth since
October 2016. The youth unemployment rate was little changed in May at
12.0%, as more young people participated in the labour market. Compared
with 12 months earlier, youth employment increased by 2.7% (+64,000),
the fastest year-over-year growth since February 2013. This
year-over-year gain was mostly in part-time work. Over the same 12-month
period, the youth population declined by 0.9% (-38,000), continuing a
Employment for men aged 25 to 54 rose by
25,000 in May, the third notable monthly increase so far in 2017. The
unemployment rate for men in this age group fell by 0.3 percentage
points to 5.8%. On a year-over-year basis, employment for men aged 25 to
54 rose by 96,000 (+1.5%), with increases evenly distributed between
full- and part-time work.
For women aged 25 to 54, employment held
steady in May and their unemployment rate was 5.3%. In the 12 months to
May, employment for this group of women rose by 61,000 (+1.1%), the
result of gains in full-time work.
Among people aged 55 and older,
employment was little changed in May, while their unemployment rate rose
by 0.4 percentage points to 6.0% as more people in this age group
searched for work. On a year-over-year basis, more people aged 55 and
older were working (+96,000 or +2.6%), largely the result of the
continued transition of the baby-boom cohort into this older age group.
gains in four provinces
In Ontario, employment increased by
20,000 in May, the result of additional employment among youth aged 15
to 24. The overall unemployment rate in Ontario rose by 0.7 percentage
points to 6.5% as more people searched for work. Compared with 12 months
earlier, employment in Ontario was up 86,000 (+1.2%).
In British Columbia, employment increased
by 12,000 in May, continuing an upward trend that began in the spring of
2015. Compared with May 2016, employment in the province grew by 99,000
(+4.2%), mostly the result of gains in full-time work. The unemployment
rate in British Columbia was little changed at 5.6% in May.
Employment in Manitoba rose by 2,700 in
May, bringing total gains since November 2016 to 11,000 (+1.7%). In May,
the unemployment rate in the province was little changed at 5.3%.
There were an estimated 1,500 more people
working in Prince Edward Island in May, and the unemployment rate for
the province was little changed at 10.0%. Prince Edward Island has had
relatively strong employment growth since the autumn of 2016. On a
year-over-year basis, employment in the province was up 3,400 (+4.7%).
In Quebec, employment edged up 15,000 in
May as a notable gain in full-time work was partly offset by a slight
decline in part-time employment. With fewer job-seekers, Quebec's
unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage points to a record low 6.0%,
continuing a downward trend since the beginning of 2016. In the 12
months to May, employment in the province increased by 83,000 (+2.0%),
mostly in the second half of 2016.
Employment in Alberta held steady in May
as full-time gains totalling 19,000 were offset by losses in part-time
work. Employment in the province increased by 41,000 (+1.8%) on a
In May, employment increased by 26,000 in
professional, scientific and technical services, contributing to
year-over-year gains totalling 50,000 (+3.6%). Ontario and Quebec
accounted for the bulk of the increase in May.
Following a downward trend in
manufacturing throughout 2016, employment rose by 25,000 in May, the
second increase in three months. Ontario had the largest gain in the
month. Since the start of 2017, gains in manufacturing have totalled
There were 17,000 additional workers in
transportation and warehousing in May, continuing an upward trend that
began at the start of 2016. The increase in May was mainly in Quebec. On
a year-over-year basis, national employment in this industry increased
by 40,000 (+4.4%).
In wholesale and retail trade, employment
increased for the third time in four months, up 15,000 in May, powered
by gains in Ontario. On a year-over-year basis, there were 74,000
(+2.7%) more people employed in the industry. Wholesale and retail trade
continued to be the largest industry group by employment, accounting for
an estimated 2.8 million people or 15.3% of all workers.
Employment in health care and social
assistance increased for the second consecutive month, up 15,000 in May.
The lion's share of the increase was in Ontario. The added employment in
May boosted total gains at the national level for the industry to 63,000
(+2.7%) from May 2016.
Employment declined by 17,000 in finance,
insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, the first notable decrease
since November 2015. Ontario accounted for all of the decline in May.
Despite fewer workers in May, employment in the industry was up 38,000
(+3.4%) compared with May 2016.
Information, culture and recreation
employment declined by 16,000 in May, contributing to losses totalling
28,000 since the start of 2017. The decline in May was mainly in
Ontario. As a result of these recent declines, employment in the
industry matched the level observed in May 2016.
There were 12,000 fewer people working in
public administration in May, with declines in Ontario and British
Columbia. Despite the decline in the month, employment in the industry
increased by 26,000 (+2.8%) in the 12 months to May, with gains in
local, municipal and regional public administration as well as federal
The number of private sector employees
increased by 59,000 in May, while there was little change in public
sector employment. On a year-over-year basis, the number of private
sector employees rose by 213,000 (+1.8%) and public sector employment
was up 77,000 (+2.1%).
Self-employment was little changed both
in the month and compared with May 2016.
Summer employment for
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 to school
full time in the fall. The May survey results provide the first
indicators of the summer job market, especially for students aged 20 to
24, as many younger students are still in school. Data for June, July
and August will provide further insight into the summer job market.
Published data are not seasonally adjusted and, therefore, comparisons
can only be made with data for the same month in previous years.
In May, employment among 20- to
24-year-old students was virtually unchanged and the employment rate was
58.9%, little changed from 12 months earlier. The unemployment rate for
this group of students was 13.3%, also little changed compared with May
In May, there were 19,000 additional 17-
to 19-year-old students employed compared with May 2016, resulting in a
slight increase in their employment rate, up 1.3 percentage point to
51.4%. All of the employment increase for this group of students was in
part-time work. The unemployment rate for this younger group of students
Adjusted to the concepts used in the
United States, the unemployment rate in Canada was 5.6% in May, compared
with 4.3% in the United States. In the 12 months to May 2017, the
unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage points in Canada and by 0.4
percentage points in the Unites States.
The labour force participation rate in
Canada (adjusted to US concepts) was 65.7% in May compared with 62.7% 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 by 0.1
percentage points in the United States.
The US-adjusted employment rate in Canada
stood at 62.1% in May compared with 60.0% in the United States. On a
year-over-year basis, the employment rate rose by 0.5 percentage points
in Canada and by 0.3 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
Average weekly earnings of non-farm
payroll employees were $971 in April, little changed from March.
Compared with April 2016, earnings were up 2.0%, with most of the
increase occurring in the last two months of 2016.
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 April, unchanged from the previous
month and down from 32.9 hours in April 2016.
earnings by sector
Compared with April 2016, average weekly
earnings of non-farm payroll employees grew in 6 of the 10 largest
industrial sectors. Earnings rose most rapidly in wholesale trade,
followed by administrative and support services, health care and social
assistance, manufacturing, public administration, and educational
services. Average earnings declined in retail trade, while there was
little change in the remaining large sectors.
Average weekly earnings in wholesale
trade were up 5.2% to $1,219, with the largest increase in wholesalers
of machinery, equipment and supplies. Earnings in the wholesale trade
sector rose fastest in Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland
and Labrador. Earnings in wholesale trade have been on an upward trend
since December 2016.
In administrative and support services,
average weekly earnings rose 5.0% to $824. Earnings growth was observed
in several provinces, with the largest increases in Quebec and
Newfoundland and Labrador.
Average weekly earnings in health care
and social assistance increased 4.7% to $895, driven by gains in the
nursing and residential care facilities subsector and in the hospitals
subsector. Growth in this sector was widespread across the provinces,
led by Saskatchewan.
In manufacturing, average weekly earnings
grew 2.8% to $1,112, notably in the primary metal, machinery, and wood
product manufacturing subsectors. Ontario and Quebec contributed the
most to earnings growth in this sector.
Average weekly earnings in public
administration rose 2.3% to $1,240, boosted by gains in local, municipal
and regional public administration. The largest increases in public
administration earnings were in the western provinces of Alberta,
Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
In educational services, average weekly
earnings increased 2.2% to $1,043, driven by increases in elementary and
secondary schools, and community colleges and CEGEPs. Alberta and
Newfoundland and Labrador had the largest rise in average earnings among
In contrast, average weekly earnings in
retail trade were down 1.7% to $560, driven by decreases in general
merchandise stores. Declines were observed in most provinces and were
largest in Prince Edward Island.
earnings by province
In the 12 months to April, average weekly
earnings of non-farm payroll employees were up in seven provinces, led
by Manitoba. Earnings were little changed in Prince Edward Island, New
Brunswick and Alberta.
Average weekly earnings in Manitoba rose
3.6% to $920, driven by finance and insurance, health care and social
assistance, and construction. Earnings in the province have trended
upwards since October 2016.
Average weekly earnings in Quebec
increased 2.8% to $899. Earnings growth was spread across most sectors,
with health care and social assistance, manufacturing, administrative
and support services, and wholesale trade contributing the most to the
gains. Earnings in the province have been on an upward trend since the
summer of 2016.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, average
weekly earnings grew 2.7% to $1,032. Earnings in the province were
boosted by notable gains in health care and social assistance,
construction and educational services.
In Saskatchewan, average weekly earnings
were up 2.1% to $1,005, primarily driven by health care and social
assistance, and educational services.
Average weekly earnings in Ontario grew
2.0% to $988. Earnings growth was most notable in wholesale trade, and
health care and social assistance.
In British Columbia, average weekly
earnings rose 1.4% to $934, with finance and insurance, and educational
services contributing most to the rise.
Average weekly earnings in Nova Scotia
increased 1.1% to $863. This growth was mostly attributable to finance
and insurance, and transportation and warehousing.
employment by sector
The total number of non-farm payroll
employees was little changed in April. However, the number of payroll
jobs rose in administrative and support services, transportation and
warehousing, and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction. At the
same time, the number of payroll employees declined in retail trade and
in information and cultural industries.
In the 12 months to April, the number of
non-farm payroll employees rose by 232,600 (+1.5%). Increases were
observed in most of the largest industrial sectors, led by health care
and social assistance (+36,000 or +1.9%), accommodation and food
services (+30,600 or +2.4%), and professional, scientific and technical
services (+24,600 or +2.9%). At the same time, there were fewer payroll
jobs in wholesale trade (-2,800 or -0.4%).
Following a downward trend that began at
the end of 2014, the number of jobs increased in mining, quarrying, and
oil and gas extraction (+12,300 or +6.6%) since October 2016, primarily
the result of gains in Alberta.
Recent labour market
In the 12 months to April, 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
employment gains in the most populous provinces of Ontario, Quebec and
British Columbia, as well as in Manitoba. For example, in Manitoba, the
number of payroll employees in the SEPH grew 1.0%, while average weekly
earnings rose 3.6%. At the same time, the LFS showed similar employment
growth in the province, and the unemployment rate declined 0.8
percentage points to 5.4%.