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Labour Force Survey, August 2014

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Released: 2014-09-05

Employment was little changed in August and the unemployment rate remained at 7.0%.

Compared with 12 months earlier, employment increased by 81,000 (+0.5%), mostly in part-time work. Over the same period, the total number of hours worked was virtually unchanged.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Employment - Description and data table

Chart 1: Employment - Description and data table

In August, employment fell among youths aged 15 to 24 and women aged 25 to 54. At the same time, it increased among men aged 25 to 54.

Provincially, employment declined in Alberta and in Newfoundland and Labrador, while it increased in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

There were fewer people employed in wholesale and retail trade, as well as transportation and warehousing. There were gains in construction, in professional, scientific and technical services and in public administration.

The number of private sector employees decreased in August, while self-employment rose.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Unemployment rate - Description and data table
Unemployment rate

Chart 2: Unemployment rate - Description and data table

Employment losses among youths and women aged 25 to 54

In August, employment decreased by 20,000 among youths aged 15 to 24, and their unemployment rate was little changed at 13.4%. On a year-over-year basis, employment for this group was virtually unchanged.

Employment declined by 18,000 among women aged 25 to 54 in August, and their unemployment rate was little changed at 5.6%. Compared with 12 months earlier, their employment was down 44,000 (-0.8%).

In August, employment increased by 36,000 among men aged 25 to 54, pushing their unemployment rate down 0.2 percentage points to 6.1%. On a year-over-year basis, employment among this group rose 40,000 (+0.6%), with most of the increase occurring in August.

Employment was little changed among men and women aged 55 and older in August and their unemployment rate was 6.0%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment for this group grew by 88,000 (+2.6%), all the result of growth in the population of those aged 55 and older.

Provincial summary

In Alberta, employment fell by 13,000 in August and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.9%. Despite this decline, employment in Alberta rose by 38,000 (+1.7%) compared with 12 months earlier, the fastest growth rate of any province.

Employment in Newfoundland and Labrador declined by 2,100 in August, and the unemployment rate rose by 1.1 percentage points to 13.5%. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province was down 7,900 (-3.4%), with most of the losses occurring since January.

Employment in Nova Scotia increased by 3,900 in August, and the unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage points to 8.8%. Despite the increase in August, employment in Nova Scotia was down 9,000 (-2.0%) compared with a year earlier.

In New Brunswick, the number of people working increased by 3,600 and the unemployment rate declined 1.3 percentage points to 8.7%. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province was virtually unchanged.

Industry perspective

There were 27,000 fewer people employed in wholesale and retail trade in August. Compared with a year earlier, employment in this industry was virtually unchanged.

In August, employment declined by 15,000 in transportation and warehousing. Despite this month's decrease, employment in this industry was up 29,000 (+3.4%) on a year-over-year basis.

There were 24,000 more people employed in construction in August. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this industry was little changed.

The number of people employed in professional, scientific and technical services increased by 21,000 in August. On a year-over-year basis, employment in this industry was up 34,000 (+2.5%).

Employment in public administration rose by 21,000 in August, continuing an upward trend that began in February. Compared with August 2013, employment in this industry increased by 48,000 (+5.1%).

Following an increase in July, the number of private sector employees declined by 112,000 in August, with notable losses in wholesale and retail trade; professional, scientific and technical services; and health care and social assistance. At the same time, self-employment increased by 87,000, following a decline in July. Self-employment grew in professional, scientific and technical services as well as construction.

Public sector employment has been on an upward trend since February 2014, while the trend for private sector employees and self-employment has been relatively flat since the fall of 2013.

Student summer employment

From May to August, the Labour Force Survey collects labour market data about young people aged 15 to 24 who were attending school full time in March and who intend to return to school full time in the fall. The data are not seasonally adjusted; therefore, comparisons can only be made on a year-over-year basis.

For students aged 15 to 24, the average employment rate for the summer (i.e., from May to August) was 49.3%, similar to the rate for every summer since 2009. In contrast, the employment rate in the summers of 2006 to 2008, before the labour market downturn, averaged 54.1%.

Compared with summer 2013, the employment rate was little changed for students aged 20 to 24 (66.6%), those aged 17 to 19 (54.2%), and those aged 15 and 16 (25.4%).

The average unemployment rate over the summer for students aged 20 to 24 was 10.8%, while it was 16.6% for those aged 17 to 19, and 28.5% for those aged 15 and 16. These rates were little changed compared with summer 2013.

The average number of hours worked at all jobs by students aged 15 to 24 this summer was 23.5 hours per week, compared with 23.7 hours the previous summer.

  Note to readers

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for August 2014 are for the week of August 10 to 16.

The LFS estimates are based on a sample and are therefore subject to sampling variability. As a result, monthly estimates will show more variability than trends observed over longer time periods. For more information, see "Interpreting Monthly Changes in Employment from the Labour Force Survey." Estimates for smaller geographic areas or industries also 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).

This analysis focuses on differences between estimates that are statistically significant at the 68% confidence level.

The employment rate is the number of employed persons as a percentage of the population 15 years of age and older. The rate for a particular group (for example, youths 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).

Seasonal adjustment

Unless otherwise stated, this release presents seasonally adjusted estimates, which facilitates comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

Each year, LFS estimates for the previous three years are revised using the latest seasonal factors.

Educational services

The LFS seasonal adjustment process removes typical seasonal patterns in the monthly data, according to trends established in previous years. While there have been larger movements in educational services employment in summer months in recent years, there has not been a consistent pattern in the magnitude or direction of these changes.

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

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

The next release of the Labour Force Survey will be on October 10.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Vincent Ferrao (613-951-4750; or Andrew Fields (613-951-3551;, Labour Statistics Division.

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