National unemployment rate dips to 7.1 per cent

Strong growth in full-time jobs: Statistics Canada

Following two months of little change, the unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage points to 7.1 per cent as employment increased by an estimated 43,000 in September, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada.

Over the first nine months of 2004, employment has grown by one per cent (156,000 jobs) while hours worked have increased 2.1 per cent.

All of the gains so far in 2004 have been in full-time jobs (up 229,000) while the number of part-time jobs has fallen by 74,000.

More youths working full time

In September the increase in employment was all full time (up 72,000) while part-time employment edged down 29,000.

Youth employment rose by 26,000 in September, mostly among older youths aged 20 to 24. The gain among youths was in full-time employment (up 40,000). September's increase partially offsets losses in July and August, leaving employment slightly above the level at the beginning of the year (up 0.7 per cent). In September the unemployment rate was little changed at 13.5 per cent as more youths entered the labour force.

Employment among adult women was little changed for the fourth consecutive month. In September, slight losses in part-time employment (down 16,000) were offset by an increase of 26,000 full-time jobs. Over the first nine months of 2004, employment among adult women has risen by only 0.7 per cent (41,000) with the gain all in full-time jobs. A decline in the number of adult women in the labour force looking for work in September pushed their unemployment rate down 0.4 percentage points to 5.8 per cent.

Employment among adult men was also little changed in September. So far this year the number of employed adult men has increased by 1.4 per cent (99,000), twice the pace of job growth for adult women. The gains over this period have been in full-time employment. The unemployment rate for adult men was unchanged in September at 5.8 per cent.

More people working in educational services in September

Employment increased by 34,000 in educational services in September, offsetting declines in July and August. This leaves employment in the sector down 1.4 per cent since the start of the year with the decline concentrated in Quebec.

There were 16,000 more people working in public administration in September, mainly at the provincial level in Ontario and Quebec. Despite the increase in September, employment in public administration has shown little change over the first nine months of 2004 (up 0.4 per cent).

In September, employment in professional, scientific and technical services fell by 14,000. Despite this decline, employment has trended up since the start of the year with gains of 37,000 (up 3.7 per cent) over the period.

Employment also fell in information, culture and recreation (down 13,000). Losses earlier in the year along with the decline in September offset gains over the summer, leaving employment in the sector at about the same level as at the start of the year.

Despite little change in construction and in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing in September, employment in both sectors has been robust with respective gains of 42,000 (up 4.3 per cent) and 51,000 (up 5.3 per cent) over the first nine months of 2004.

Employment in manufacturing was little changed in September as a gain of 22,000 in Quebec was offset by declines of 21,000 in Ontario and 5,000 in Alberta. Employment in manufacturing at the national level has changed little since the fall of 2003.

More public-sector employment

In September employment rose by 36,000 in the public sector, with gains in education services, health care and social assistance and in public administration. Public sector employment has shown an upward trend since mid-2003 and this month's increase brings total gains since the start of 2004 to 60,000 (up 1.9 per cent). Over this period, transportation and warehousing as well as health care and social assistance have accounted for much of the growth.

Private sector employment was little changed in September, leaving the number of employees up only 0.6 per cent (61,000) since the start of the year and the number of self-employed up by 1.4 per cent (35,000) over the same period.

Provincial focus

In British Columbia, employment increased by 13,000 in September, all in full-time jobs (up 25,000). Gains were concentrated in educational services, construction, and in health care and social assistance. This leaves employment in the province slightly above the level of December 2003. The unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage points in September to 7.1 per cent.

In September, employment increased by 4,000 in Manitoba, the result of gains in part-time jobs. The increase occurred in accommodation and food services, retail and wholesale trade as well as construction. So far this year, employment in the province is up 1.3 per cent (up 7,000), mainly the result of growth over the past two months. The unemployment rate was little changed in September at 5.6 per cent as more people entered the labour force.

Employment in Quebec edged up 16,000, bringing gains over the first nine months of 2004 to 51,000 (up 1.4 per cent). In September, full-time employment rose by 27,000 while part-time employment declined slightly. Sectors where employment increased include manufacturing and public administration, while job losses occurred in construction. Despite the slight gain in employment, there were more people participating in the labour force and this pushed the unemployment rate up 0.3 percentage points to 8.3 per cent.

In September, employment in Ontario was little changed, leaving gains so far this year at only 0.9 per cent (up 55,000). Employment rose in September in educational services, mostly at the primary and secondary level, offsetting a loss the month before. Employment also increased in public administration, mainly at the provincial level. However there were losses in manufacturing with the largest decline in food, beverage and tobacco products. Employment also declined in transportation and warehousing. The unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points to 6.5 per cent, as fewer people were in the labour force in September in search of work.

Despite little change in employment in New Brunswick in September, the unemployment rate fell by an estimated 0.9 percentage points to 9.6 per cent as fewer people were in the labour force looking for work. Employment is up 3.1 per cent so far this year — the highest rate of growth among the provinces.

JurisdictionAugust 2004September 2004% change
Newfoundland and Labrador16.215.9-0.3
Prince Edward Island11.311.30.0
Nova Scotia8.88.80.0
New Brunswick10.59.6-0.9
British Columbia7.77.1-0.6

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