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Labour Force Survey, June 2016

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Released: 2016-07-08

Employment was unchanged in June (0.0%). The unemployment rate declined 0.1 percentage points to 6.8%, as the number of people searching for work edged down.

In the second quarter of 2016, employment was little changed (+11,000 or +0.1%). This was the smallest quarterly change in employment in two years.

Chart 1  Chart 1 : Quarterly change in employment
Quarterly change in employment

In the 12 months to June, the number of people employed rose by 108,000 (+0.6%), with most of the gains in part time (+77,000 or +2.3%). Over the same period, the total number of hours worked fell slightly (-0.1%).

Chart 2  Chart 2 : Employment

In June, employment fell among men aged 55 and older, while it increased for youths aged 15 to 24 and changed little for the other demographic groups.

British Columbia was the only province with employment growth. The other provinces showed little change.

Fewer people worked in construction, manufacturing, and the "other services" industry. On the other hand, employment increased in accommodation and food services as well as information, culture and recreation.

The number of employees fell in the public sector and was little changed in the private sector. At the same time, self-employment increased.

Chart 3  Chart 3 : Unemployment rate
Unemployment rate

Employment down for men 55 and older, and up for youth

Employment fell by 15,000 for men aged 55 and older, and the unemployment rate increased 0.5 percentage points to 6.5%. Over the 12 months to June, employment for this group was up 35,000 (+1.7%), mostly as a result of growth in their population (+153,000).

For women aged 55 and older, employment was little changed in June, and the unemployment rate was 5.2%. Compared with a year earlier, however, employment gains for this group totalled 101,000 (+6.4%), partly because of an increase in their population (+155,000).

Employment for men and women aged 25 to 54 was little changed on both a monthly and year-over-year basis. Nevertheless, their unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 5.8% in June, as fewer of them searched for work.

There were 18,000 more youths aged 15 to 24 working in June, with gains in part-time work. The youth unemployment rate was 13.0%. On a year-over-year basis, youth employment was down 46,000 (-1.9%) and their population declined 47,000.

Summer employment for students

From May to August, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) collects labour market data about youths aged 15 to 24 who were attending school full time in March and who intend to return full time in the fall. The June survey results provide an early indication of the summer job market, especially for students aged 20 to 24, as many students aged 15 to 19 are still in school. Data for July and August will provide further insight into the summer job market for students. Published data are not seasonally adjusted; therefore, comparisons can only be made from one year to another.

Among students aged 20 to 24 who intend to return to school full time in the fall, the employment rate was 64.0% in June, 3.2 percentage points lower than 12 months earlier. The unemployment rate for this group of returning students was 10.5%, little changed from June 2015.

Employment gains in British Columbia

British Columbia was the lone province with employment gains in June (+16,000 or +0.7%), continuing an upward trend going back to the spring of 2015. The unemployment rate in the province was 5.9%, the lowest rate in the country. On a year-over-year basis, employment in British Columbia was up 70,000 or 3.0%, the fastest rate of growth among the provinces.

In Quebec, employment was little changed in June. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was up 33,000 (+0.8%), and the unemployment rate was down 1.0 percentage point to 7.0%.

Employment was virtually unchanged in Ontario. With fewer people participating in the labour market, the unemployment rate fell from 6.6% to 6.4%, the lowest rate since September 2008. On a year-over-year-basis, employment in the province grew by 63,000 (+0.9%).

In Alberta, employment was also virtually unchanged in June, and the unemployment rate was 7.9%. In the 12 months to June, overall employment in the province fell by 52,000 (-2.2%), with losses in full time totalling 91,000 (-4.8%). Over the same period, the unemployment rate was up 2.1 percentage points.

Employment increases in all three territories

The LFS also collects labour market information on the territories. This information is produced monthly in the form of three-month moving averages.

In the second quarter of 2016, employment in Yukon increased by 800 compared with the first quarter. Over the same period, the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.2%.

Employment in the Northwest Territories rose by 400 in the second quarter. Over the same period, the unemployment rate was up by 0.7 percentage points to 8.0% as more people searched for work.

In Nunavut, employment increased by 800 in the second quarter. During the same period, the unemployment rate fell by 3.9 percentage points to 13.5%.

Industry perspective

Following a gain in May, employment in construction was down 29,000 in June. Before adjusting for seasonal factors, the number of people working in this industry rose from May to June. However, the increase was smaller than usual, resulting in a seasonally-adjusted decrease. On a year-over-year basis, employment in construction was little changed.

Also following an increase in May, employment in manufacturing declined by 13,000 in June, bringing year-over-year losses to 30,000 (-1.8%). Employment in manufacturing has been on a downward trend since the start of 2016.

The number of people working in "other services," such as services related to religious, grant-making, civic, and professional organizations, also decreased in June (-9,300). Year over year, however, employment in this industry was up 23,000 (+3.1%).

On the other hand, employment rose 20,000 in accommodation and food services. This was the third increase in four months for the industry.

Employment also rose in information, culture and recreation (+14,000) in June, bringing year-over-year gains to 44,000 or 5.9%, the strongest rate of employment growth among all industries.

While employment in natural resources was little changed in June, it was down 11.4% from 12 months earlier, with most of this decrease occurring since the start of 2016.

Employment in public administration was virtually unchanged in June, following a gain of 19,000 in May. Over the two months, employment rose in federal public administration, coinciding with activities related to the 2016 Census. The increase was concentrated among survey interviewers and statistical clerks, an occupational group that corresponds with the type of work done during federal elections and censuses.

Chart 4  Chart 4 : Federal public administration, survey interviewers and statistical clerks
Federal public administration, survey interviewers and statistical clerks

In June, public sector employment fell by 28,000, while the number of private sector employees was little changed. On the other hand, self-employment increased by 38,000 (+1.4%).

Compared with 12 months earlier, public sector employment was unchanged, while the number of private sector employees rose slightly (+62,000 or +0.5%) and self-employment edged up by 46,000 (+1.7%).

Impact of the wildfires in the area of Fort McMurray on the Labour Force Survey collection and estimates

As a result of the wildfires affecting northern Alberta, which led to the evacuation of residents from the Fort McMurray area, LFS data for the census agglomeration of Wood Buffalo were not collected in either May or June.

Using standard statistical techniques, missing data for Wood Buffalo were replaced by substituted values taken from similar respondents from surrounding areas.

The population of Wood Buffalo represents 2% of the population of Alberta. Therefore, the impact of this interruption in data collection is minimal on provincial estimates and negligible on national estimates.

The impact is larger for sub-provincial areas, specifically for the economic region of Wood Buffalo–Cold Lake, where approximately 60% of the population are residents of Wood Buffalo. As a result, separate estimates for this economic region, which are normally available in the form of three-month moving averages, will not be published for June.

Regular LFS collection in all other areas of Canada was unaffected, and occurred from Sunday, June 19 to Tuesday, June 28. The LFS reference week for the month of June was Sunday, June 12 to Saturday, June 18.

Statistics Canada is aware of the ongoing difficult circumstances of residents of the Fort McMurray area. The decision to resume collection for the LFS in Fort McMurray will be taken in collaboration with Alberta provincial and local governments.

  Note to readers

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for June are for the week of June 12 to 18.

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.

LFS estimates are the first in a series of labour market indicators released by Statistics Canada, which includes indicators from programs such as the Survey of Payroll Employment, Earnings and Hours (SEPH), Employment Insurance statistics, and the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey. For more information on the conceptual differences between employment measures from the LFS and SEPH, refer to section 8 of the Guide to the Labour Force Survey (Catalogue number71-543-G).

The employment rate is the number of employed people as a percentage of the population aged 15 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 of 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.

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.

Chart 2 shows trend-cycle data on employment. These data represent a smoothed version of the seasonally adjusted time series, which provides information on longer-term movements, including changes in direction underlying the series. These data are available in CANSIM table 282-0087 for the national level employment series. For more information, see the StatCan Blog and Trend-cycle estimates – Frequently asked questions.

Next release

The next release of the LFS will be on August 5.


A more detailed summary, Labour Force Information (Catalogue number71-001-X), is now available for the week ending June 18. From the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications, choose All subjects, then Labour.

More information about the concepts and use of the Labour Force Survey is available online in the Guide to the Labour Force Survey (Catalogue number71-543-G), from the Browse by key resource module of our website, under Publications.

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 Lahouaria Yssaad (613-951-0627; or Andrew Fields (613-951-3551;, Labour Statistics Division.

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