Unemployment rate climbs in July

Loss in part-time jobs pushes the national unemployment rate up to 7.8 per cent: Statistics Canada
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 08/25/2003


he unemployment rate edged up 0.1 percentage points in July to 7.8 per cent, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada.

Employment edged down by 13,000 for the month, all in part-time jobs. Since the start of 2003, employment has increased by only 0.5 per cent, much slower than the 2.3 per cent growth observed in the first seven months of 2002. But the Canadian numbers are still better than what’s happening in the United States, where employment continued to decline in July and is down 0.3 per cent since the start of the year.

Fewer youths working

Employment fell by 15,000 among youths, as a decline of 31,000 part-time jobs was only partly offset by a gain in full-time. With this decrease, youth employment is down 0.4 per cent since the start of the year. The youth unemployment rate edged up 0.2 percentage points in July to 14.1 per cent.

Private-sector hiring slow

Despite a gain in the number of private sector employees in July (up 15,000), employment for this group has shown little change over the first seven months of the year.

In July, the number of public-sector employees fell by about 25,000, with most of the decline in education services. Despite this drop, the number of public-sector employees is up 19,000, or 0.6 per cent, since the start of 2003.

On the self-employment front, there was little change in July but the number of self-employed Canadians has edged up 0.6 per cent, or 19,000, since the start of the year.

What sectors lost jobs? What sectors are growing?

As mentioned above, the education sector led the decrease with a loss of 24,000 jobs in July, mostly at the primary and secondary level in Ontario.

Employment also decreased in agriculture (down 7,000) with half of the decline in Saskatchewan. So far in 2003, farm employment is down 21,000 (a 5.9 per cent drop), which is a continuation of a long-term downward trend, according to Statistics Canada.

There was also a slight decline of 10,000 jobs in accommodation and food services with most of the decreases concentrated in Ontario.

Although manufacturing was little changed in July, it has bled 61,000 jobs (down 2.6 per cent) over the first seven months of 2003, primarily the result of continued weakness in Ontario. The numbers compare with what’s happening south of the border, where U.S. factory employment has fallen 2.7 per cent over the same period.

On the plus side, employment increased by 10,000 in construction and in finance, real estate and leasing. Since the start of the year, job gains total 22,000 (up 2.4 per cent) in construction and 27,000 (up 3.0 per cent) in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing.

Here are the July unemployment figures, by jurisdiction, across Canada compared with June:

JurisdictionJune 2003 (%)July 2003 (%)Change
Newfoundland and Labrador15.415.80.4
Prince Edward Island9.610.40.8
Nova Scotia8.89.20.4
New Brunswick10.610.5-0.1
British Columbia8.38.60.3

Source: Statistics Canada

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