Unemployment Still Tops In Western Canada

The labour pool and the participation rate in Abbotsford-Mission dropped in July from July of 2013 as did the employment rate. The labour force dropped in size by four percent from 102,200 to 98,100 while the participation rate dropped from 69,500 to 65,800.

While across Western Canada unemployment rates dropped, the unemployment rate here stayed stubbornly steady at 8.2 percent though slightly than the 8.4 percent in June.

Western Canadian Cities

Abbotsford 8.2
Vancouver 5.8
Victoria 5.5
Kelowna 5.0
Edmonton 5.4
Calgary 5.4
Regina 3.5
Saskatoon 3.6
Winnipeg 5.2

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.

Overall employment was unchanged in July, as gains in part-time work were offset by losses in full time. A decline in the number of people searching for work pushed the unemployment rate down 0.1 percentage points to 7.0%.

In the 12 months to July, employment increased by 115,000 or 0.7%, with all the growth in part-time work. The total hours worked were unchanged compared with July 2013.

Employment increased among youths aged 15 to 24 in July, while it fell among people aged 55 and over.

Provincially, employment increased in Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Manitoba, while it declined in New Brunswick. There was little overall employment change in the other provinces.

In July, there were more people employed in educational services and in information, culture and recreation. At the same time, employment declined in construction as well as health care and social assistance.

Adjusted to the concepts used in the United States, the unemployment rate in Canada was 6.0% in July, compared with the USrate of 6.2%.

Gains among youth, declines among people aged 55 and over

In July, employment among youths aged 15 to 24 increased by 17,000, returning their employment to a level similar to that of 12 months earlier. The youth unemployment rate was 13.2%, little changed from the previous month.

Employment fell by 33,000 among people aged 55 and over, partly offsetting gains in June. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment was up by 148,000 (+4.4%). These gains were mainly the result of a 3.2% growth in the population of this age group.

There was little employment change among people aged 25 to 54 compared with the previous month and with a year earlier. From June to July, the unemployment rate declined 0.2 percentage points to 5.9%, as fewer people in this age group searched for work.

Provincial summary

Following three consecutive months of decline, employment in Newfoundland and Labrador grew by 6,800 in July. The unemployment rate was little changed at 11.9% as more people participated in the labour market. With July’s gain, employment in the province is back to a level similar to that of one year earlier.

Employment in Manitoba rose by 5,200 in July, pushing the unemployment rate down 0.3 percentage points to 5.1%. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province was little changed.

In New Brunswick, the number of people working fell by 3,100. The unemployment rate was 9.8%, unchanged from a month earlier, as fewer people participated in the labour market. Compared with a year earlier, employment in the province was virtually unchanged.

In July, employment was little changed in Saskatchewan. However, a decline in labour force participation pushed the unemployment rate down 0.6 percentage points to 3.3%, the lowest rate in the province since comparable data became available in 1976. Compared with a year earlier, employment in the province was up by 6,200 (+1.1%).

Industry perspective

Employment in educational services increased by 32,000 in July, mainly in primary and secondary schools in Ontario (see “Seasonal adjustment” and “Educational services” in the note to readers).

In July, there were 15,000 more people employed in information, culture and recreation. Compared with a recent low in July 2013, employment in this industry has increased by 53,000 (+7.0%).

The number of people employed in construction declined by 42,000 in July, offsetting an increase in the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this industry was down by 50,000 (-3.7%), the result of declines in the fall of 2013.

Employment in health care and social assistance fell by 29,000 in July, mostly in the social assistance sector in Quebec. Compared with a recent low in July 2013, employment in this industry was up by 87,000 (+4.1%).

In July, self-employment declined by 29,000, while there was little change among private sector and public sector employees. Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of employees increased in both the private sector (+1.0% or +113,000) and the public sector (+1.3% or +48,000). Self-employment was down 1.7% (-46,000) over this 12-month period.

Summer employment for students

From May to August, the Labour Force Survey collects labour market data about young people 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 published data are not seasonally adjusted; therefore, comparisons can only be made on a year-over-year basis.

Compared with July 2013, employment was up by 30,000 among students aged 20 to 24, the result of an increase in part-time work. The rate of employment for this group was little changed at 70.0%, as employment and the number of returning students increased at a similar pace. Their unemployment rate was 8.0%, also little changed compared with a year earlier.

The employment rate for students aged 17 to 19 was 58.5% in July, similar to the rate observed 12 months earlier. Their unemployment rate was unchanged at 16.8%.

Among students aged 15 to 16, the rate of employment was 29.6%, virtually unchanged compared with July 2013. Their unemployment rate was 28.0%, also little changed from 12 months earlier.

Canada-US comparison

Adjusted to US concepts, the unemployment rate in Canada was 6.0% in July, compared with 6.2% in the United States. In the 12 months to July, the unemployment rate in Canada was down 0.3 percentage points, while the rate in the United States fell 1.1 percentage points.

In July, the employment rate in Canada (adjusted to US concepts) was 61.9%, compared with 59.0% in the United States. For further information, see “The labour market in Canada and the United States since the last recession, 2007 to 2014.”

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