Following two months of little change, employment rose by 61,000 in September, all in full-time, according to a report by Statistics Canada. This increase pushed the unemployment rate down 0.2 percentage points to 7.1 per cent, the lowest rate since December 2008.
Since September 2010, employment has grown by 1.7 per cent (294,000). Over this period, full-time employment rose by 2.5 per cent (344,000), part-time work declined 1.5 per cent (50,000) and total actual hours worked increased two per cent, said Statistics Canada.
September's employment increase was spread across a number of industries, with gains in educational services; professional, scientific and technical services; accommodation and food services; natural resources; and public administration.
Of the new jobs, 38,400 were in educational services, presumably largely the result of the return to work of teachers and assistants who were laid off for the summer. Statscan tries to adjust for seasonality but said there had not been enough of a consistent pattern in this sector for specific months.
The number of workers in professional, scientific and technical services rose by 36,000 in September, continuing an upward trend that began in the summer of 2009. Over the past 12 months, employment in this industry has increased by 4.1 per cent (53,000), one of the highest rates of growth among all industries.
These gains were partially offset by declines in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing; manufacturing; and information, culture and recreation, said Statistics Canada.
Employment fell by 35,000 in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing. Compared with one year earlier, employment in this industry is down by 1.4 per cent (15,000).
In September, employment increased among the self-employed and public sector employees. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment growth in the private sector (up 2.2 per cent) was faster than that of the public sector (up 1.1 per cent), while self-employment rose slightly (up 0.6 per cent).
Large gains in British Columbia
Employment in British Columbia rose by 32,000, all in full-time work. This was the first notable employment gain since July 2010. The unemployment rate fell by 0.8 percentage points to 6.7 per cent in September.
In Saskatchewan, employment increased by 4,000 in September. Employment in the province is up 0.9 per cent compared with 12 months earlier, lower than the national average of 1.7 per cent.
Employment increased by 2,700 in New Brunswick. Despite this gain, employment in the province was 0.5 per cent lower than September 2010.
While employment in Alberta was little changed in September, over the year, employment has grown by 4.8 per cent (98,000), entirely in full-time work.
Employment in Quebec was unchanged in September. With fewer people searching for work, the unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage points to 7.3 per cent. Compared with September 2010, employment increased by 0.6 per cent.
Ontario employment was little changed for the second consecutive month and the unemployment rate was 7.6 per cent. Over the past 12 months, employment increased by two per cent (136,000), above the national growth rate of 1.7 per cent.
Increases among core-aged and older workers
Employment increased among workers aged 25 to 54 in September (25,000), bringing growth over the previous year to 1.2 per cent (146,000).
In September, employment grew by 21,000 among workers aged 55 and over. Employment for this age group is up 2.7 per cent (81,000) in the past 12 months.
Employment among youths aged 15 to 24 was up slightly, bringing growth since September 2010 to 2.8 per cent (68,000).
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