Employment climbs by 107,000 in September

But Statistics Canada survey shows most of gain in part-time work

Following a decline in July and small gain in August, employment climbed by 107,000 in September. However, most of this increase was in part-time work (97,000) and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.1 per cent because of a similar rise in labour-force participation.

Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey also said part-time work has grown by 131,000 so far in 2008, nearly double that of full-time work. This contrasts with the first nine months of 2007, when gains were mostly full time.

“So far in 2008, employment in Canada has been growing, albeit at a slower pace compared with last year, while in the United States employment has fallen,” said Statistics Canada. “When adjusted to approximate U.S. measurement concepts, the unemployment rate in Canada has remained relatively stable at around 5.3 per cent so far this year while in the U.S. it has risen by 1.1 percentage points to 6.1 per cent.”

Five provinces accounted for the overall employment increase: Ontario (52,000), Quebec (32,000), Alberta (17,000), Saskatchewan (7,700) and Nova Scotia (4,900).

The survey also found widespread gains by industry in September, the largest coming from health care and social assistance, followed by business, building and other support services, and manufacturing.

The number of private sector employees rose by 56,000, with smaller gains in self-employed (30,000) and the public sector (21,000). And the year-over-year growth in average hourly wages for September was 4.6 per cent, well above the most recent increase of 3.5 per cent in the Consumer Price index, said Statistics Canada. Compared to 2007, average hourly wages were higher for all age groups but strongest for youths and older workers.

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