Little change in employment levels in July: StatsCan

Private sector workers up by 95,000, public sector down by 72,000
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 08/05/2011

After three months of increases, Canada’s employment levels saw little change in July. The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points to 7.2 per cent, as fewer people participated in the labour market, according to Statistics Canada.

Employment increased by 252,000 (1.5 per cent) compared with July 2010, with the growth in full-time and private sector employees.

More private sector employees

The number of employees in the private sector increased for the fifth consecutive month, up 95,000 in July. This brings total gains from 12 months earlier to 241,000 (up 2.2 per cent). In contrast, employment in the public sector fell by 72,000 in July, leaving the number of employees in the sector 0.9 per cent above the level of 12 months ago, said Statistics Canada.

Increases in full-time employment were mostly offset by declines in part-time work. Over the last 12 months, full-time employment has grown by 351,000 (2.6 per cent) while part-time has declined by 99,000 (2.9 per cent.

Gains in construction, transportation and warehousing

In July, employment increased in construction, transportation and warehousing as well as retail and wholesale trade. At the same time, there were decreases in health care and social assistance, educational services, natural resources, agriculture and business, building and other support services, found the Labour Force Survey.

Employment in construction rose by 31,000 in July, following three months of little change. This increase brings gains over the past 12 months to 66,000 (up 5.3 per cent).

Employment in transportation and warehousing rose for the second month, up 28,000 in July. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in transportation and warehousing increased by 7.2 per cent, the highest growth rate of all industries.

There were 28,000 more people working in retail and wholesale trade in July, said Statistics Canada. Despite this increase, employment in this industry remained similar to last year.

Employment in manufacturing edged up — over the past 12 months, the number of workers in this industry rose by 1.2 per cent (22,000).

Following a long-term upward trend, employment fell by 39,000 in health care and social assistance in July. This decline leaves employment in the industry slightly above its level of July 2010 (up 0.7 per cent), said the government.

Employment also decreased in July in business, building and other support services (down 14,000), natural resources (down 11,000) as well as agriculture (down 9,000).

Employment increases in Alberta

There were more people working in Alberta and in Newfoundland and Labrador in July while there was a decline in Ontario. There was little or no change in the other provinces, said the Labour Force Survey.

Employment in Alberta rose by 12,000 in July, the third consecutive monthly increase. Employment in the province is now 3.8 per cent higher than 12 months earlier. This is the highest growth rate of all provinces and higher than the national average of 1.5 per cent.

Following two consecutive months of decreases, employment in Newfoundland and Labrador increased by 3,800 in July. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province has grown by 3.5 per cent, the second highest growth rate in the country.

In Ontario, employment declined by 22,000 in July. However, employment growth over the past 12 months stands at 1.6 per cent, similar to the national growth rate. The unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 7.5 per cent because of fewer people participating in the labour market, according to Statistics Canada.

While employment in Quebec was little changed in July, the unemployment rate fell by 0.7 percentage points to 7.2 per cent, mostly because fewer people were looking for work. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province increased by 1.5 per cent, the same as the national rate of growth.

Student summer employment

Employment for students aged 15 to 24 was little changed in July compared with 12 months earlier, said the government. In July 2011, their unemployment rate was 17.4 per cent, similar to that of July 2010 but lower than the rate of 20.8 per cent in July 2009 when the student labour market was particularly affected by the labour market downturn.

In July 2011, younger students experienced more difficulty than their older counterparts in finding work. The unemployment rate among students aged 15 to 16 was the highest among all students at 32.7 per cent and was similar to their rate of July 2009.

Among 17- to 19-year-olds, the unemployment rate was 17.6 per cent, lower than the rate of 19.9 per cent in July 2009, found the Labour Force Survey. For students aged 20 to 24, it was 7.1 per cent, about one-half the rate of 13.3 per cent seen two years earlier.

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