Statistics Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Labour Force Survey

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

November 2008 (Previous release)

Following little change in October, employment fell by 71,000 in November, with the decrease split between full- and part-time work. The unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage points to 6.3%.

Chart 1

In the first 11 months of 2008, employment increased by 0.8% (+133,000), a slower pace of growth compared with the 2.2% (+361,000) observed during the same period in 2007.

In November, the employment declines were concentrated in Ontario (-66,000), where there was a large drop in full-time work. Nova Scotia (-4,400) also experienced a decline in November, while employment remained relatively stable in the other provinces.

The manufacturing sector was hard hit in November, with a net employment drop of 38,000. This brings manufacturing declines to 388,000 since the peak in 2002. In Ontario, the employment declines in this sector totalled 42,000 in November.

Following gains in October associated with hiring for the federal election, employment in public administration fell by 27,000 in November.

Note to readers

Please note that Table 1 in the publication Labour Force Information has been extended to include labour force characteristics for men and women aged 25 to 54 years and 55 years and over at the Canada level.

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates are based on a sample, and are therefore subject to sampling variability. Estimates for smaller geographic areas or industries will have more variability. For an explanation of sampling variability of estimates, and how to use standard errors to assess this variability, consult the "Data quality" section of the publication Labour Force Information (71-001-XWE, free).

Other industries with employment decreases in November were transportation and warehousing; educational services; and agriculture. Employment gained ground, however, in health care and social assistance; and in professional, scientific and technical services.

Employment declines were spread out across most demographic groups, with the largest decreases among adult men and youth.

In November, year-over-year growth in the average hourly wage was 4.6%, well above the most recent increase in the Consumer Price Index (+2.6%).

Chart 2
Unemployment rate

Steep declines in Ontario

The largest employment declines in November were in Ontario, down 66,000. Full-time workers and men 25 and over were most affected. Ontario's unemployment rate jumped to 7.1% in November from 6.5% the month before. Since the start of the year, employment in Ontario has grown by 0.5%.

In Ontario, the steepest employment decline in November was in manufacturing. Since 2002, the start of the downward trend, this sector's share of employment in Ontario has fallen from 18.2% to 13.0%.

In Quebec, employment was unchanged in November, with gains in full-time work (+42,000) offsetting losses in part-time (-40,000). The unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage points to 7.1%.

Since the start of the year, employment in Quebec has little changed (+0.2%), as increases in health care and social assistance; manufacturing; and construction were offset by declines in transportation and warehousing; trade; and agriculture.

While Ontario's unemployment rate has been historically lower than Quebec's, the unemployment rates in these two provinces have been converging over the last few years. With the jump in unemployment in Ontario in November and no change in Quebec, the two rates are now the same for the first time in over 30 years. However, the share of the population who was employed in November remained lower in Quebec (60.9%) than in Ontario (63.1%).

Employment decreased in Nova Scotia by 4,400 in November, all in part time. This caused the unemployment rate to edge up to 7.8%.

While employment in the other provinces was little changed in November, the fastest pace of employment growth so far in 2008 has been in Saskatchewan (+3.2%), Alberta (+2.1%) and Manitoba (+1.8%).

Manufacturing employment down sharply

The manufacturing sector was hard hit in November, with an employment drop of 38,000.

Following gains in October associated with hiring for the federal election, employment in public administration fell by 27,000 in November. Even so, this industry has registered growth of 2.5% over the past 11 months.

In November, employment declines were also observed in transportation and warehousing (-26,000), educational services (-16,000) and agriculture (-10,000).

Employment in health care and social assistance grew by 18,000 in November, pushing gains since the beginning of the year to 68,000 (+3.6%). Professional, scientific and technical services also increased in November (+16,000), bringing increases so far this year to 67,000 (+5.8%).

The employment decrease in November was split between employees in the public and private sectors, while self-employment remained unchanged. Since the start of the year, employment in the private sector has risen 0.9% compared with 0.8% in the public sector and 0.4% among self-employed workers.

Men and youths most affected by the employment declines

Employment fell by 40,000 in November for men aged 25 and over. For youths aged 15 to 24, employment declined by 19,000, while it was little changed for adult women.

Since the start of the year, the increase in employment for women aged 25 and over (+99,000) has been twice that of men in the same age group (+49,000), while youth employment has shown little growth.

Available on CANSIM: tables 282-0001 to 282-0042, 282-0047 to 282-0064 and 282-0069 to 282-0099.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 3701.

A more detailed summary, Labour Force Information (71-001-XWE, free), is now available online for the week ending November 15. From the Publications module of our website, under All subjects, choose Labour. LAN and bulk prices are available on request. The CD-ROM Labour Force Historical Review, 2007 (71F0004XCB, $209) is now available.

Data tables are also now available online. From the By subject module of our website, choose Labour.

The next release of the Labour Force Survey will be on January 9, 2009.

For general information or to order data, contact Client Services (toll-free 1-866-873-8788; 613-951-4090; To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Jason Gilmore (613-951-7118; or Jane Lin (613-951-9691;, Labour Statistics Division.

Table 1
Labour force characteristics by age and sex

Table 2
Employment by class of worker and industry (based on NAICS)

Table 3
Labour force characteristics by province

Table 4
Labour force characteristics by province