Labour Force Survey, June 2012

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In June, employment was little changed for the second consecutive month and the unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage points to 7.2%, as fewer people searched for work.

Compared with 12 months earlier, employment increased 1.0% or 181,000. At the same time, full-time work was up 222,000 (+1.6%), while part-time work was little changed. The total number of hours worked rose 2.2%.

Chart 1 
Chart 1: Employment

Chart description: Employment

CSV version of the chart

In June, there were employment gains in business, building and other support services; health care and social assistance; educational services; and utilities. These gains were offset by declines in information, culture and recreation as well as agriculture.

The number of public sector employees increased by 39,000 in June. Employment growth over the previous 12 months was mostly among private sector employees, up 149,000 (+1.3%).

Employment rose in Ontario and was little changed in the other provinces.

Women aged 25 and over posted employment increases in June, while the number of workers in the other demographic groups was unchanged.

Chart 2 
Unemployment rate
Chart 2: Unemployment rate

Chart description: Unemployment rate

CSV version of the chart

Employment gains in service industries

The number of people working in business, building and other support services rose by 24,000 in June. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this industry was little changed.

Health care and social assistance added 20,000 workers in June. This industry's employment level was virtually unchanged from 12 months earlier.

Employment in educational services increased by 19,000 in June, bringing total gains during the previous 12 months to 83,000 (+6.9%).

The number of people working in information, culture and recreation declined for the second consecutive month, down 31,000 in June. This decline brings employment in the industry back to levels similar to those recorded in the fall of 2011.

Employment also declined in agriculture in June, down 20,000, offsetting increases in April and May.

Although unchanged in June, employment in natural resources posted the fastest growth rate among all industries over the previous 12 months, up 10.9%.

June's employment gains in Ontario

The number of people working in Ontario increased by 20,000 in June, and the unemployment rate stood at 7.7%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this province was little changed.

While there was little change in employment in Newfoundland and Labrador in June, the unemployment rate increased to 13.0% as more people entered the labour market in search of work. The participation rate, that is, the percentage of people who are employed or searching for work, has been trending upward for the past two years, reaching 62.0% in June—the highest rate in this province since comparable data became available.

Of all provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador had the fastest year-over-year employment growth rate, at 4.0%, followed by Alberta (+2.7%), British Columbia (+2.3%) and Saskatchewan (+2.1%).

Despite little change in the number employed, the unemployment rate in British Columbia declined 0.8 percentage points to 6.6% in June, as fewer people searched for work.

Following three months of gains, employment was unchanged in Quebec in June. The unemployment rate was 7.7%.

Employment up among women aged 25 and over

Employment rose among women aged 25 and over, up 18,000 in June, bringing growth during the previous 12 months to 1.6% (+114,000).

Among men aged 25 and over, employment was unchanged in June. Over the previous 12 months, employment increased 1.4% (+110,000) for this group.

Employment among youths aged 15 to 24 was little changed in June, and the unemployment rate rose 0.5 percentage points to 14.8%. Youth employment has remained at the same level since July 2009, when the labour market downturn hit a low.

Student summer employment

From May to August, the Labour Force Survey collects labour market information about young people aged 15 to 24 who were attending school full time in March and intend to return to school full time in the fall. The May and June survey results provide the first indicators of the summer job market, while the July and August data will provide further insight. The published data are not seasonally adjusted; therefore, comparisons can only be made on a year-over-year basis.

The rate of employment among students aged 20 to 24, that is, the number of employed as a percentage of their population, was 63.2% in June 2012, down from 67.4% in June 2011. The June 2012 rate matches the rate observed in June 2009, when student employment was hard hit by the labour market downturn, and is also the lowest June employment rate since comparable data became available in 1977.

The unemployment rate for these students was 13.0% in June, up from 11.0% a year earlier, but lower than the 14.0% observed in June 2009.

The employment rate for 17- to 19-year-old students was 51.4% in June, below the rate observed in both June 2011 and June 2009. Compared with June 2011, the unemployment rate for these students increased 3.5 percentage points to 17.3%.

Quarterly update for the territories

The Labour Force Survey also collects labour market information about the territories. This information is produced monthly in the form of three-month moving averages. The following data are not seasonally adjusted; therefore, comparisons should only be made on a year-over-year basis.

In the second quarter of 2012, employment levels and unemployment rates were little changed in all three territories compared with the second quarter of 2011. The unemployment rate in the second quarter of 2012 was 7.8% in Yukon, 8.5% in the Northwest Territories and 15.7% in Nunavut.

Note to readers

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 (Catalogue number71-001-X, free).

Unless otherwise stated, this release presents seasonally adjusted data, which facilitates comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends.

The employment rate is the number of employed persons as a percentage of the population 15 years of age and over. The rate for a particular group (for example, youth aged 15 to 24) is the number employed in that group as a percentage of the population for that group.

The unemployment rate is the number unemployed as a percentage of the labour force (employed and unemployed).

The participation rate is the number of employed and unemployed as a percentage of the population. For more detailed information, see the Guide to the Labour Force Survey (Catalogue number71-543-G, free).

Available without charge in CANSIM: tables CANSIM table282-0001 to 282-0042, CANSIM table282-0047 to 282-0063, CANSIM table282-0069 to 282-0095, CANSIM table282-0100 to 282-0121 and CANSIM table282-0200 to 282-0219.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number survey number3701.

A more detailed summary, Labour Force Information (Catalogue number71-001-X, free), is now available online for the week ending June 16. From the Key resource module of our website under Publications, choose All subjects, then Labour.

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 August 10.

For more information, contact Statistics Canada's National Contact Centre (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 613-951-8116;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Vincent Ferrao (613-951-4750; or May Luong (613-951-6014;, Labour Statistics Division.