Local Jobless Rate Rises To 6.5 %

By February 6, 2015Economic Indicators

Participation in workforce drops

The unemployment rate in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA rose, month-over-month from 6.0 percent in December to 6.5 percent in January bucking  both the national and provincial trends.

Compared to January 2014 the rate dropped from 8.6 percent in 2014 but the participation rate also dropped from 68.4 to 67.3.

The local rise diverts from the national trend for January. Even at 6.5 percent, one of the lowest rates since the 2008 economic crash, Abbotsford-Mission is back to its traditional spot boasting the highest unemployment rate in Western Canada.

Other Western Canadian cities average between three and six percent Vancouver, for the first time in months, coming in with a higher unemployment rate than Abbotsford at 6.1. percent.

Western Canadian Cities

Abbotsford 6.5
Vancouver 5.6
Victoria 4.8
Kelowna 2.9
Edmonton 4.4
Calgary 4.4
Regina 3.9
Saskatoon 4.5
Winnipeg 5.7

For the Statscan table simply click here.

For a closer, more in-depth look at the Vancouver Region click here.

For a closer look at the Abbotsford unemployment situation click here.

The National Picture

Employment increased by 35,000 in January, the result of more part-time work. The unemployment rate declined 0.1 percentage points to 6.6%.

In the 12 months to January, employment increased by 128,000 (+0.7%) with most of the growth in the second half of the period.

In January, part-time employment increased by 47,000 and full time was little changed.

Compared with January 2014, full-time employment rose by 108,000 (+0.8%), while there was little change in part-time work. Over the same period, the total number of hours worked was up slightly (+0.3%).

Chart 1

CANSIM table 282-0087.

Chart description: Employment

CSV version of chart 1

In January, employment increased among women aged 55 and over, while there was little change in the other demographic groups.

Provincially, employment rose in Quebec, Alberta, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island in January. At the same time, there was a decline in Saskatchewan.

There were more people working in professional, scientific and technical services in January, while employment declined in natural resources.

The number of self-employed workers increased in January and there was little change in the number of private and public sector employees.

Chart 2
Unemployment rate

CANSIM table 282-0087.

Chart description: Unemployment rate

CSV version of chart 2

More employed women aged 55 and older

There were 19,000 more women aged 55 and older working in January and their unemployment rate edged down to 4.8%. Employment for men in the same age group was little changed. However, their unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage points to 6.2% as more of them were searching for work.

While youth employment was unchanged in January, their unemployment rate fell 0.7 percentage points to 12.8% as fewer youths looked for work.

There was little employment change in January for men and women aged 25 to 54 and their unemployment rates remained at 5.6% and 5.3%, respectively.

In the 12 months to January, employment growth was driven by gains among men 25 and older (+79,000) and youths (+30,000).

Provincial summary

In Quebec, employment increased by 16,000 in January, the first notable gain since March 2014. In the 12 months to January 2015, overall employment in the province was virtually unchanged. The unemployment rate was 7.4% in January.

Employment in Alberta rose by 14,000 in January, bringing gains over the past 12 months to 67,000 or 3.0%, the fastest growth rate among the provinces. Year-over-year employment gains in Alberta were in health care and social assistance as well as in transportation and warehousing, while there was a decrease in retail and wholesale trade. Employment in natural resources was little changed on a year-over-year basis, but it was down 13,000 (-7.2%) from the most recent peak in September 2014. The unemployment rate in the province was 4.5% in January.

In January, employment increased by 3,400 in New Brunswick. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 10.0% as more people participated in the labour market. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province was unchanged.

Employment in January was also up in Prince Edward Island (+1,000) and the unemployment rate declined 0.9 percentage points to 10.2%.

In Saskatchewan, employment decreased by 8,400 in January and the unemployment rate increased 0.8 percentage points to 4.5%. Despite fewer people working in January, employment was unchanged compared with 12 months earlier.

Employment in the remaining provinces was little changed between December and January.

Industry perspective

The number of people employed in professional, scientific and technical services rose by 22,000 in January, the first notable increase since July 2013.

Employment in natural resources fell by 8,800 in January and was little changed from 12 months earlier.

The number of self-employed increased by 41,000 in January. Compared with January 2014, employment for this group of workers rose by 59,000 or 2.2%.

For public and private sector employees, employment was little changed for both January and on a year-over-year basis.

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