Labour Force Survey

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October 2011 (Previous release)

Following an increase in September, employment declined by 54,000 in October, all in full time. October's loss pushed the unemployment rate up 0.2 percentage points to 7.3%. Over the last year, total employment has risen by 237,000 (+1.4%).



Chart description: Employment

The number of full-time workers declined by 72,000 in October. Despite this loss, full-time employment has grown 1.6% (+226,000) compared with the same month a year earlier, while part-time employment was little changed. Over the same period, total actual hours worked increased by 1.6%.

The bulk of the decline in October occurred in manufacturing, followed by construction. Natural resources was the only industry to post notable gains for the month.

In October, employment declined among private sector employees. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment grew faster among private sector employees (+1.5%) than among their public sector counterparts (+1.2%) and the self-employed (+1.1%).

Employment fell in Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, while it increased in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Note to readers

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-X, free).

Unemployment rate

Unemployment rate

Chart description: Unemployment rate

Declines in goods sector

Employment in manufacturing fell for the second consecutive month, down 48,000 in October. Employment in the industry was down 2.7% compared with October 2010.

There were also employment losses in construction in October (-20,000). Despite this loss, construction employment stood 1.4% above the level of October 2010.

Natural resources was the only industry with employment gains in October (+12,000). Over the past 12 months, natural resources employment has grown by 5.0%.

In the 12 months to October, employment in the goods sector has fallen 0.7%, with growth earlier in the period dampened by declines in recent months.

In contrast, employment in the service sector continued on its long-term upward trend, growing 2.0% since October 2010. Accommodation and food services led the way (+8.2%), followed by transportation and warehousing (+3.7%), health care and social assistance (+3.4%), and professional, scientific and technical services (+3.4%).

There were no notable employment changes in the service sector industries in October.

Provincial summary

Ontario's employment declined by 39,000 in October, with large losses in full time partially offset by gains in part time. The unemployment rate in the province rose 0.5 percentage points to 8.1%. Over the past 12 months, employment in Ontario has grown by 1.5% (+101,000).

Employment fell by 11,000 in British Columbia. Since October 2010, employment in the province has grown by 0.9%, slower than the national rate of growth (+1.4%).

In October, there were also declines in Nova Scotia, where employment fell by 3,900, and in Prince Edward Island, where it decreased by 1,300.

Overall employment in Quebec declined slightly in October and the unemployment rate rose 0.4 percentage points to 7.7%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province (+0.4%) was little changed.

Newfoundland and Labrador was the only province to experience notable employment gains in October, up 4,100. Employment in the province grew 0.9% compared with 12 months earlier.

Employment in Alberta edged up in October, and the unemployment rate declined 0.3 percentage points to 5.1%. Compared with October 2010, Alberta has had the fastest rate of employment growth of all provinces, with an increase of 4.3%.

Declines mainly among adult women

In October, employment fell by 32,000 among women aged 25 and over. Despite this decline, employment among adult women was up 1.2% from October 2010, with full-time gains tempered by losses in part time.

While youths experienced a slight loss in October, employment growth of 1.9% for this group over the past 12 months has outpaced the national average.

There was little change in employment for men aged 25 and over in October. Over the past 12 months, employment among adult men grew by 1.4%.

Available on CANSIM: tables 282-0001 to 282-0042, 282-0047 to 282-0063, 282-0069 to 282-0095 and 282-0100 to 282-0121.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 3701.

A more detailed summary, Labour Force Information (71-001-X, free), is now available online for the week ending October 15. From the Key resource module of our website under Publications, choose All subjects, then Labour. LAN and bulk prices are available on request. The DVD-ROM Labour Force Historical Review, 2010 (71F0004X, $209) is now available. See How to order products.

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

The next release of the Labour Force Survey will be on December 2.

For further information regarding Labour Force Survey data, contact Statistics Canada's National Contact Centre (613-951-8116; toll-free 1-800-263-1136;, Communications Division.

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Danielle Zietsma (613-951-4243; or Vincent Ferrao (613-951-4750;, Labour Statistics Division.