In February 2017, the
unemployment rate in BC is 5.7% and 8.6% in Alberta.
-- : suppressed to meet the
confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act
The unemployment rate in British Columbia
was 5.1% in February, down from 5.6% in January. The gain in employment
relative to the previous month (+19,400) was much greater than the
increase in the size of the labour force (+6,600). The unemployment rate
was also lower when compared to February 2016, when it was 6.5%. Job
growth (+84,900) was greater than the growth in the labour force
(+50,400) over the course of the past twelve months.
Compared to January, there were 33,400
more full-time jobs, while part-time jobs fell by 13,900.
In February, employment in both the
public sector (+13,800) and the private sector (+6,400) increased
relative to the month before, while the number of self-employed
individuals dropped slightly (-800) during the same time period.
At 5.1%, British Columbia’s unemployment
rate remained the lowest in Canada during the month of February.
Manitoba (5.8%) and Saskatchewan (6.0%) recorded the second and third
lowest unemployment rates. At 8.3%, Alberta’s unemployment rate was
seventh lowest among the provinces.
During the month of February, employment
in Canada was almost unchanged (+15,300 or +0.1%), while the labour
force shrank (-23,000 or -0.1%). As a result, the national unemployment
rate dropped 0.2 percentage points to 6.6%.
In February, employment in British
Columbia for men (aged 25 years and over) grew by 11,300 jobs, while the
labour force increased by 9,000. As a result, the unemployment rate was
4.6%, down 0.2 percentage points from the previous month.
For women (aged 25 years and over),
employment increased by 11,300 jobs. The labour force grew at a slower
pace (+6,100), pushing the unemployment rate down by 0.5 percentage
points to 4.3%.
Compared to February 2016, the
unemployment rate for men was down by 1.5 percentage points to 4.6%, and
for women it was down by 0.6 percentage points to 4.3%. Jobs for men
increased by 26,700 (+2.5%) compared to a year ago, and for women
employment climbed by 46,900 (+4.9%).
Youths Aged 15 to 24
The unemployment rate for youth aged 15
to 24 years fell by 1.2 percentage points to 8.7% in February.
Employment decreased by 3,300 jobs while the labour force diminished by
8,500 people. Compared to February 2016, the unemployment rate for youth
decreased by 3.5 percentage points to 8.7%.
BC Stats Infoline
In January, 567,900 people received
Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, little changed from the previous
month (-1,900 or -0.3%).
Provincially, Alberta recorded the
largest decrease in beneficiaries in January (-6.2%). Smaller declines
occurred in Saskatchewan (-1.9%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-1.1%).
Conversely, the number of beneficiaries increased in Quebec (+2.8%),
Manitoba (+1.5%) and Prince Edward Island (+1.1%). It was little changed
in the remaining provinces.
In the 12 months to January, the number
of EI beneficiaries in Canada was up by 20,300 or 3.7%, largely as a
result of increases in Alberta.
In general, changes in the number of EI
beneficiaries reflect various situations, including people becoming
beneficiaries, people going back to work and people no longer receiving
Part of the year-over-year increase in
January may be related to changes in EI policy, including those that
came into effect in July 2016. More information on the 2016 EI changes
is available on Employment and Social Development Canada's website.
In Alberta, 91,700 people received EI
benefits in January -- a decrease of 6,100 or 6.2% from December. This
is the first notable decrease that has occurred in the province since
September 2014, excluding August 2016, when there was a sizable
offsetting decrease in the number of beneficiaries following the
implementation of EI policy changes in July. The January 2017 decline
was also the largest monthly (percentage) decrease in Alberta since
Decreases in the number of beneficiaries
occurred throughout Alberta, including the census metropolitan areas
(CMAs) of Edmonton (-5.8%) and Calgary (-4.6%).
Beginning in July 2016, regular EI
benefits were extended for anywhere from 5 to 25 weeks in 15 regions
experiencing significant increases in the rate of unemployment,
including all areas of Alberta as well as most areas of Saskatchewan and
Newfoundland and Labrador. The January decrease in the number of
beneficiaries in these provinces may reflect an increase in the number
of people who have exhausted their extended benefits. In Alberta, the
January decrease in the number of beneficiaries could also reflect
improvements in the local labour market, coinciding with the recent rise
in global oil prices, as well as remediation and reconstruction activity
in Fort McMurray following the May 2016 wildfires.
On a year-over-year basis, the number of
beneficiaries in Alberta rose by 41.2%.
In Saskatchewan, 19,300 people received
benefits in January, 370 or 1.9% fewer than in December. Decreases were
observed in all areas of the province, with the exception of Regina,
where the number of beneficiaries increased by 3.8%. In the 12 months to
January, the number of beneficiaries in Saskatchewan grew by 23.1%.
The number of beneficiaries in
Newfoundland and Labrador decreased in January, down 430 or 1.1% to
37,400. The CMA of St. John's was the only area where the number of
beneficiaries was little changed from December. Declines were observed
in all other areas of the province. On a year-over-year basis, the
number of beneficiaries in Newfoundland and Labrador increased by 6.7%.
After five months of decreases, the
number of people receiving benefits in Quebec increased in January, up
3,800 or 2.8% from December to 136,900. While increases were observed
throughout the province, the largest percentage increase occurred in the
CMA of Sherbrooke (+8.2%). The increase in the number of EI
beneficiaries in Quebec was most notable in occupations related to
manufacturing and utilities, as well as in trades, transport and
In the 12 months to January, the number
of beneficiaries in Quebec decreased by 6.2%.
The number of beneficiaries in Manitoba
rose in January, up 230 or 1.5% from December to 16,100. Most of this
increase occurred in the CMA of Winnipeg (+2.6%). On a year-over-year
basis, the number of beneficiaries in the province increased by 2.9%.
The number of beneficiaries in Prince
Edward Island grew by 90 or 1.1% in January to 7,900. This increase was
evenly distributed across the province. In the 12 months to January, the
number of beneficiaries in the province increased by 2.5%.
The number of EI beneficiaries in the
other provinces was little changed in January. However, this was not the
case for certain areas in New Brunswick, Ontario and British Columbia.
The number of beneficiaries rose by 4.9% in Saint John, New Brunswick.
In Ontario, Greater Sudbury (-6.6%), Peterborough (-2.3%) and Windsor
(-2.2%) recorded decreases in the number of beneficiaries, while most of
the remaining CMAs posted increases, including Thunder Bay (+3.6%),
Guelph (+3.4%) and London (+2.9%). In British Columbia, there were fewer
beneficiaries in Kelowna (-4.2%) and Victoria (-3.7%), while there were
more in Vancouver (+2.1%).
beneficiaries by occupation
Looking at the last occupation of EI
beneficiaries, in the 12 months to January, the only decrease occurred
in education, law and social, community and government services (-5.0%).
It was the 12th consecutive month in which an annual decrease occurred
in this occupational group. January marked the fifth consecutive month
where the number of beneficiaries in manufacturing and utilities was
little changed on a year-over-year basis.
The number of beneficiaries increased in
8 of the 10 major occupational groups. The most notable increases were
in management occupations (+6.3%); trades, transport and equipment
operators and related occupations (+6.2%); and health occupations
(+5.9%). The number of beneficiaries in management occupations,
business, finance and administrative occupations, natural and applied
science occupations, and trades, transport and equipment operators and
related occupations has been increasing on a year-over-year basis since
early 2015. In contrast, the upward trend in the number of beneficiaries
in health occupations, occupations in art, culture, recreation and
sport, and sales and service occupations began after EI policy changes
were implemented in July 2016.
beneficiaries in major demographic groups
In January, there was a decrease in the
number of women aged 55 years and older (-1.4%) who were beneficiaries.
All of the other major demographic groups were virtually unchanged.
On a year-over-year basis, the number of
male (+4.2%) and female (+2.8%) beneficiaries increased in January.
Among women, 65.8% of this increase consisted of those aged 55 years and
older. Among men, 47.0% of the additional beneficiaries in January were
aged 25 to 54 and 52.5% were aged 55 years and older.
The number of EI claims totalled 227,100
in January, down 10,400 or 4.4% from the previous month.
The number of claims decreased in all
provinces in January, with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador,
where it increased, and Quebec, where it was essentially unchanged.
Among the provinces, Alberta had the largest reduction in the number of
claims (-15.0%). It was the largest monthly decrease in the province
since June 2009, excluding offsetting decreases in June and August 2016.
This decrease may reflect an increase in the number of people who have
either not had insurable employment or not accumulated enough insurable
hours in the past 12 months, and who are therefore not eligible to claim
EI benefits. As with the decrease in the number of beneficiaries in
Alberta, the decrease in the number of claims may also reflect
improvement in the provincial economy.
In January, British Columbia (-6.8%) and
Ontario (-4.2%) also had decreases in the number of claims. Together
with Alberta, they accounted for much of the national decrease.
Compared with 12 months earlier, the
number of claims in Canada was down by 8.5% in January.
The number of claims provides an
indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries.
Employment was little changed in February
(+15,000 or +0.1%). An increase in the number of people working full
time offset a decline in the number of people working part time. With
fewer people searching for work, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2
percentage points to 6.6%, matching the rate observed in January 2015
and the lowest since October 2008.
In the 12 months to February, employment
rose by 288,000 (+1.6%), with most of the gains occurring since July
2016. This coincided with stronger economic growth in the second half of
In February, there were an estimated
105,000 more people working full time, the second notable increase in
three months. In the 12 months to February, full-time employment rose by
235,000 (+1.6%), driven by increases since July. The number of people
working part time fell by an estimated 90,000 in February, following a
period of growth that began in the autumn of 2015.
In the 12 months to February, the total
number of hours worked was little changed.
From January to February, employment
increased among core-aged women (25 to 54 years old) and men aged 55 and
older. There was little employment change among the other demographic
Provincially, employment rose in British
Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In contrast, there were fewer
people working in Nova Scotia and in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Employment was essentially unchanged in the other five provinces.
In February, more people were employed in
wholesale and retail trade, public administration, and in transportation
for core-aged women
Employment among women aged 25 to 54
increased for the third consecutive month, up 18,000 in February. Their
unemployment rate remained at 5.3% as more women in this age group
participated in the labour market. More core-aged women worked full time
in the month (+84,000) and this was partly offset by fewer of them
working part time (-65,000). The recent employment gains for core-aged
women boosted their year-over-year employment growth to 98,000 (+1.7%).
Following a notable increase in January,
employment for 25- to 54-year-old men held steady in February. Compared
with February 2016, employment for this group increased by 63,000
(+1.0%), driven by gains since the fall of 2016. In the 12 months to
February, the unemployment rate for core-aged men fell by a full
percentage point to 5.8%.
Employment among men aged 55 and older
increased by 14,000 in February, and their unemployment rate was 6.3%.
In the 12 months to February, employment among older men rose by 63,000
(+3.1%) and their population increased by 154,000 (+3.1%).
In February, employment among women aged
55 and older held steady and their unemployment rate was 5.2%. Compared
with 12 months earlier, 56,000 (+3.4%) more women aged 55 and older were
working, and the number of women in this age group rose by 156,000
Employment among youths aged 15 to 24 was
little changed in February, both in the month and on a year-over-year
basis, while their population continued to decline. Their unemployment
rate was down by 0.9 percentage points to 12.4% in February, as fewer
youths searched for work.
In February, employment increased by
19,000 in British Columbia, continuing an upward trend that began in the
spring of 2015. The increase was fueled by gains in full-time work and
was spread across several industries. In the 12 months to February,
employment increased by 85,000 or 3.6%, the fastest growth rate among
the provinces. Over the same period, the unemployment rate fell by 1.4
percentage points to 5.1%, the lowest since October 2008. In February,
British Columbia posted the lowest unemployment rate among the
Employment in Saskatchewan rose by 8,000
in February, the largest increase since April 2012. Nearly all of the
gains were in full-time work and stemmed from the services sector. Prior
to the increase in February, total employment had been relatively flat
since the spring of 2016. In February, the provincial unemployment rate
fell by 0.4 percentage points to 6.0%.
In Manitoba, employment increased by
3,400 in February, driven by gains in full-time work and in
construction. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell by 0.3
percentage points to 5.8%, the second lowest among the provinces
following British Columbia. The employment increase in February boosted
year-over-year gains for the province to 6,600 (+1.0%).
In February, the number of people working
full time increased by 53,000 in Ontario, offsetting a similar-sized
decrease in the number of people working part time, resulting in little
change in overall employment for the month. Building on gains since
July, employment in Ontario was up by 108,000 (+1.5%) on a
year-over-year basis, with virtually all of the increase in full-time
work. In February, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage
points to 6.2% as the number of people searching for work edged down.
There was little employment change in
Quebec for the second consecutive month. In the 12 months to February,
employment was up by 83,000 (+2.0%), powered by gains in the second half
of 2016. The unemployment rate in February was 6.4%, down 1.1 percentage
points from 12 months earlier.
In Alberta, employment held steady in
February, with full-time gains (+19,000) offsetting losses in part-time
employment (-18,000). Following significant declines from the autumn of
2015 to the summer of 2016, total employment in the province has been
stable in recent months. In February, the unemployment rate fell by 0.5
percentage points to 8.3%, as fewer people searched for work.
Following an increase in January, there
were 6,800 fewer people working in Nova Scotia in February and the
unemployment rate was 8.1%. The employment decline was largely the
result of a drop in part-time employment. Although total employment in
the province decreased in February, it was little changed compared with
12 months earlier.
Employment in Newfoundland and Labrador
fell by 3,800 in February and the unemployment rate was 14.2%. The
employment decline in February offset an increase in January and
continued a downward trend that began in May 2016. In the 12 months to
February, employment in the province fell by 6,400 (-2.8%).
Following little change in the previous
three months, employment in wholesale and retail trade increased by
19,000 in February and edged up by 35,000 (+1.3%) on a year-over-year
basis. The additional employment in February followed higher sales
reported in the latter part of 2016 at both the wholesale and retail
Employment in transportation and
warehousing increased for the second consecutive month, up 8,800 in
February. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this industry
increased by 34,000 (+3.8%).
Employment in public administration also
increased for the second consecutive month, up 12,000 in February,
bringing total gains to 65,000 (+7.2%) on a year-over-year basis. In the
12 months to February, there were more people employed at the federal
level and also at the local, municipal and regional level.
The number of private and public sector
employees was little changed in February. On a year-over-year basis,
increases in the number of private sector employees totalled 253,000
(+2.2%), spread across several service industries, while public sector
employment rose by 78,000 (+2.2%), driven by gains in public
The number of self-employed workers was
little changed in February and edged down from 12 months earlier.
Average weekly earnings of non-farm
payroll employees were $967 in January, little changed from December and
up 1.8% from January 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 32.7 hours per week in January, down from 32.8 hours in both
the previous month and 12 months earlier.
earnings by sector
Compared with 12 months earlier, average
weekly earnings rose in 4 of the 10 largest industrial sectors. Earnings
increased in manufacturing, educational services, health care and social
assistance, as well as wholesale trade. At the same time, earnings
declined in accommodation and food services, while there was little
change in the remaining large sectors.
Average weekly earnings in manufacturing
rose 4.7% to $1,115. Growth was driven by increases in several
manufacturing subsectors (food, wood products, and petroleum and coal
products) and was widespread across the provinces, most notably in
Ontario and Quebec. Part of the increase was also due to earnings in
manufacturing being at a relatively low point in January 2016.
Average weekly earnings in educational
services grew 3.3% to $1,037. The most notable growth was in
universities, which had gains in both employment and earnings. Earnings
in educational services have been on an upward trend since March 2016.
Average weekly earnings in health care
and social assistance rose 3.1% to $883. Increases in earnings were
widespread throughout the sector, with the largest in nursing and
residential care facilities.
Average weekly earnings in wholesale
trade were up 3.0% to $1,173, with the largest increases among merchant
wholesalers of machinery, equipment and supplies as well as building
material and supplies.
On the other hand, earnings in
accommodation and food services fell 2.0% to $369. At the same time, the
number of employees increased, but average weekly hours decreased. The
most notable decline in earnings was in full-service restaurants and
limited-service eating places, which is among the lowest-earning
earnings by province
Compared with January 2016, average
weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees rose in 9 of the 10
provinces, led by New Brunswick. There was little change in Alberta.
Average weekly earnings in New Brunswick
increased 3.0% to $889. Gains were most notable in health care and
social assistance as well as manufacturing.
In British Columbia, average weekly
earnings grew by 2.7% to $931. There were increases in several
industries, led by administrative and support services and educational
Average weekly earnings in Prince Edward
Island were up 2.6% to $828, particularly in finance and insurance, as
well as health care and social assistance.
Average weekly earnings in Saskatchewan
rose 2.4% to $1,008. Increases in earnings were spread across several
sectors, driven by health care and social assistance as well as
In Manitoba, average weekly earnings were
up 2.3% to $898, with notable gains in finance and insurance, as well as
Average weekly earnings in Ontario rose
2.2% to $986, with manufacturing, finance and insurance, as well as
health care and social assistance contributing the most to the increase.
In Alberta, average weekly earnings were
little changed. While there were increases in health care and social
assistance as well as educational services, earnings in natural
resources, construction, and professional, scientific and technical
services held steady. This follows large year-over-year declines since
early 2015. As a result, the downward trend that began in 2015 has
lessened in the second half of 2016.
employment by sector
The total number of non-farm payroll
employees in January was little changed from the previous month.
However, there were increases in several sectors, notably in
manufacturing, accommodation and food services, and public
administration. At the same time, there were fewer payroll employees
working in educational services and construction.
Compared with January 2016, the number of
non-farm payroll employees was up 246,600 (+1.6%). The largest increases
were in health care and social assistance (+49,100 or +2.7%),
accommodation and food services (+36,800 or +2.9%) and retail trade
(+30,500 or +1.6%).
Over the same period, there were declines
in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (-5,100 or -2.6%),
although the downward trend that began in the fall of 2014 has lessened.
Wholesale trade (-4,000 or -0.5%) also declined.
In the 12 months to January, 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 and the Labour Force Survey.
During this same period, both surveys
showed employment gains in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. For
example, combined with employment gains, average weekly earnings rose
2.2% in Ontario, outpacing the national average (+1.8%). At the same
time, the unemployment rate for the province declined 0.3 percentage
points to 6.4%.