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Annual review of the labour market, 2016

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Released: 2017-04-28

The article "Annual review of the labour market, 2016", released today in the Labour Statistics: Research Papers series, provides an analysis of current labour market trends using a combination of major indicators from the Labour Force Survey; the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours; the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey; and Employment Insurance statistics.

This article highlights key developments in the labour market that were observed over the course of 2016.

Overall, most of the employment increases in 2016 were in part-time work, with full-time growth dampened by declines in Alberta.

Employment growth was fastest among older workers, those aged 55 and older, reflecting the transition of baby boomers entering that age group. At the same time, there was virtually no growth in employment among people aged 25 to 54 and youth aged 15 to 24.

Payroll employment grew mostly in services-producing sectors, while it declined in goods-producing sectors. The largest growth in payroll jobs was in health care and social assistance, a sector where employment has trended upward over the past decade.

British Columbia had the fastest employment growth among the provinces, while the employment growth in Ontario and Quebec also outpaced the national average.

In Alberta, there were widespread employment and earnings declines across most sectors, and the unemployment rate for the province reached a 20-year high, coinciding with lower oil prices that started in 2014.

In 2016, the growth rate for average weekly earnings was the lowest observed using comparable data going back to 2001, subdued partly by changes in the composition of employment by sectors. Employment increases in relatively low-earning sectors had a negative effect on the overall average weekly earnings, while declines across a number of high-earning sectors dampened earnings growth.


The article "Annual review of the labour market, 2016" is now available online in the Labour Statistics: Research Papers series (Catalogue number75-004-M).

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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 Andrew Fields (613-951-3551;, Emmanuelle Bourbeau (613-951-3007; or Client Services (toll-free 1-866-873-8788;, Labour Statistics Division.

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