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Labour Force Survey, November 2014

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Released: 2014-12-05

Following two months of notable gains, employment was little changed in November. The unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 6.6%.

Compared with November 2013, employment increased by 146,000 (+0.8%), with part-time and full-time work up 1.9% and 0.6% respectively. Over the same period, the total number of hours worked was little changed (+0.1%).

In the six months to November, employment grew by an average of 21,300 per month, compared with an average of 3,000 per month for December 2013 to May 2014.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Employment - Description and data table

Chart 1: Employment - Description and data table

Provincially, employment declined in Ontario and Saskatchewan, while it increased in Quebec as well as Newfoundland and Labrador.

Fewer men aged 55 and over were employed in November, while there was little change for men and women in the other major age groups.

Employment decreased in retail and wholesale trade as well as professional, scientific and technical services. At the same time, there were more people employed in natural resources and agriculture.

In November, the number of private sector employees declined, while the number of public sector and self-employed workers edged up.

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

Chart 2: Unemployment rate - Description and data table

Employment declines in Ontario and increases in Quebec

Following two months of increases, employment in Ontario declined by 34,000 in November. This decline pushed the unemployment rate in the province up 0.5 percentage points to 7.0%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in Ontario rose by 53,000 (+0.8%).

In November, employment decreased by 3,900 in Saskatchewan, but the unemployment rate was little changed at 3.4%, as fewer people participated in the labour market. The unemployment rate remained the lowest among the provinces. On a year-over-year basis, employment in Saskatchewan increased by 15,000 (+2.7%), the fastest growth rate in the country.

In Quebec, employment increased by 20,000 in November, following six months without growth. However, the unemployment rate was virtually unchanged at 7.6%, as more people participated in the labour market. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was little changed.

In November, employment in Newfoundland and Labrador increased by 3,100, pushing the unemployment rate down 1.3 percentage points to 10.7%. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province was little changed, the result of losses observed in the first half of 2014 being offset by gains recorded since the beginning of the summer.

Employment was unchanged in Alberta and British Columbia in November. However, on a year-over-year basis, the provinces posted growth of 2.2% and 2.0% respectively, above the national average of 0.8%.

Fewer men aged 55 and over employed in November

Employment among men aged 55 and over declined by 17,000 in November, pushing their unemployment rate up 0.3 percentage points to 6.2%. However, compared with 12 months earlier, employment for this group increased by 36,000 (+1.9%), the result of population ageing. For women in the same age group, there was little employment change in November or on a year-over-year basis.

In November, employment was little changed among people aged 25 to 54. On a year-over-year basis, men aged 25 to 54 saw an employment increase of 35,000 (+0.6%) and their unemployment rate declined 0.5 percentage points to 5.7%. For women in the same age group, employment was unchanged compared with 12 months earlier and their unemployment rate was virtually unchanged at 5.2%.

Among youths aged 15 to 24, employment was stable in November, but there was a marked increase of 56,000 (+2.3%) compared with November 2013. The employment rate was 56.5% in November, which was unchanged from October and the highest rate since February 2009.

Industry perspective

In November, employment declined by 42,000 in retail and wholesale trade, offsetting an increase the month before. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this industry was virtually unchanged.

Employment in professional, scientific and technical services decreased by 33,000 in November. Despite this decline, the number of people employed in the industry was similar to that of November 2013.

In November, the number of people employed in natural resources increased by 15,000, partly offsetting the decline observed the month before. Employment in the industry was little changed compared with a year earlier.

Agricultural employment rose by 8,000 in November, but was little changed compared with November 2013.

The number of private sector employees declined by 46,000 in November, leaving employment for this category of workers slightly above the level of November 2013.

The number of public sector and self-employed workers edged up in November, as well as on a year-over-year basis.

  Note to readers

Following the release of final population estimates from each census, a standard revision is applied to the Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates. The revised estimates are scheduled to be released on CANSIM in early February 2015, and will include the following changes.

1. LFS data will be adjusted to reflect the 2011 Census population estimates and will be revised back to 2001. LFS data are currently based on estimates from the 2006 Census.

2. Geographic boundaries will be updated to the 2011 Standard Geographical Classification (SGC) from the current 2006 SGC. This change will slightly modify the boundaries of some census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and economic regions (ERs).

3. Three ERs will be combined for data quality reasons.

4. New CANSIM tables will be created for all sub-provincial areas based on the 2011 Census boundaries and the data series will be available for 2001 onward. A concordance table for the CANSIM vectors will be provided prior to release.

While the overall imputation strategy will not be changed, the revisions will include an update to the variables used to create the imputation groups to reflect both current response patterns and relationships between key variables. In early February 2015, these changes will be implemented historically, starting in January 2008.

Key labour market trends as well as rates of unemployment, employment and participation will be essentially unchanged as a result of these updates, and most changes to estimates will be minor.

Note that these revisions will not include updates to the classification structures for industry and occupation. These updates will take place in January 2016.

Sample redesign

Every 10 years, the LFS undergoes a sample redesign to reflect changes in population and labour market characteristics, as well as new definitions of geographical boundaries. The redesigned sample will be introduced starting in January 2015 and will be fully implemented by June 2015.

Note to readers

The LFS estimates for November 2014 are for the week of November 9 to 15.

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 over. 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 are revised using the latest seasonal factors.

A more detailed summary, Labour Force Information (Catalogue number71-001-X), is now available for the week ending November 15. 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 January 9, 2015.

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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