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Labour Force Survey, June 2018

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Released: 2018-07-06

After two consecutive months of little change, employment rose by 32,000 in June. With more people searching for work, the unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 6.0%.

Compared with June 2017, employment increased by 215,000 or 1.2%, with all the growth in full-time work. Over the same period, total hours worked grew by 1.4%.

Overall employment was little changed in the first six months of 2018, following notable growth in 2017.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Employment


Employment increased in Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. There was little change in the other provinces.

More people were employed in construction, natural resources, and manufacturing. At the same time, employment decreased in accommodation and food services, and in agriculture.

There was little change in the number of employees in both the private and public sectors, as well as in self-employment.

In June, employment rose for men aged 55 and older, while it held steady for the other demographic groups.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Unemployment rate
Unemployment rate

Employment up in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba

In Ontario, employment rose by 35,000 in June, bringing year-over-year gains to 157,000 (+2.2%). With more people looking for work, the unemployment rate in Ontario increased to 5.9% in June, up 0.2 percentage points from May.

In Saskatchewan, employment rose by 8,300 in June, the largest increase since April 2012. The unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percentage points to 6.3% in June. Despite the monthly increase, employment in the province was little changed on a year-over-year basis.

Employment in Manitoba increased by 4,100 in June, reducing the unemployment rate to 6.1% (-0.4 percentage points). Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was up 5,800 (+0.9%).

In Alberta, employment held steady in June, and the unemployment rate was 6.5%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was up 34,000 (+1.5%).

In British Columbia, employment was little changed both on a monthly and a year-over-year-basis. The unemployment rate in the province increased by 0.4 percentage points to 5.2% in June, the result of more people looking for work.

Employment in Quebec was also little changed in the month and on a year-over-year-basis. The unemployment rate in the province was 5.4% in June.

Quarterly update for the territories

In the second quarter of 2018, employment in the Northwest Territories rose by an estimated 600 compared with the first quarter. The unemployment rate was little changed at 8.6%, while the employment rate was up 1.6 percentage points to 65.8%.

Employment in Nunavut increased by an estimated 400 compared with the first quarter. At the same time, the unemployment rate increased to 14.1% (+1.5 percentage points), the result of more people looking for work. The employment rate was up 1.1 percentage points to 53.7%.

In Yukon, employment held steady from the first quarter to the second quarter, and the unemployment rate edged down to 2.3%. The employment rate was little changed, at 73.1%.

Industry perspective

Following two consecutive months of declines, employment in construction rose by 27,000 in June, bringing year-over-year gains to 44,000 (+3.1%). Ontario accounted for most of the increase in June.

There were 13,000 more people employed in natural resources, contributing to year-over-year gains of 22,000, or 6.8%—one of the fastest rates of growth among all industries. Employment in this industry has been trending upward since the summer of 2016.

Employment also increased in manufacturing, up 11,000 in June. This was the first increase so far this year, and it was driven by gains in Ontario. In the 12 months to June, the number of people working in this industry was virtually unchanged.

In accommodation and food services, employment fell by 16,000, with decreases in Quebec, Alberta and Nova Scotia. On a year-over-year basis, national employment in this industry was up 35,000 (+2.9%).

There were 6,100 fewer people employed in agriculture in June. On a year-over-year basis, employment was little changed.

In June, there was little change in the number of employees in both the private and public sectors. On a year-over-year-basis, public-sector employment was up 84,000 (+2.3%), while the number of private-sector employees grew by 79,000 (+0.7%).

There was also little change in the number of self-employed workers in June. Compared with 12 months earlier, self-employment was up 53,000 (+1.9%).

Demographic overview

In June, employment increased by 13,000 for men aged 55 and older, bringing their year-over-year gains to 79,000 (+3.8%). Among women in the same age group, employment was little changed in the month, while it was up 73,000 (+4.1%) compared with June 2017.

In the core age group (those aged 25 to 54), employment for both men and women was little changed in June. The unemployment rate for men was unchanged, at 5.0%. For women, however, the unemployment rate increased by 0.3 percentage points to 5.2% as more of them were seeking work. On a year-over-year-basis, employment was up for both men (+40,000 or +0.6%) and women (+32,000 or +0.6%).

Among the youth population aged 15 to 24, employment was little changed both on a monthly and a year-over-year basis. With more young people searching for work, the youth unemployment rate increased to 11.7% in June, up 0.6 percentage points from the previous month.

Summer employment for students

From May to August, the Labour Force Survey collects labour market data on youth 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 June survey results provide an early indication of the summer job market for students, especially those aged 20 to 24, as many younger students are still in school. Published data are not seasonally adjusted, therefore, comparisons can only be made with data for the same month in previous years.

For students aged 20 to 24, employment increased by 26,000 (+5.4%) in June compared with 12 months earlier. As their population grew at a faster pace (+6.7%), their employment rate was little changed, at 65.8% in June. On the other hand, their unemployment rate rose by 1.5 percentage points to 10.9%, as more of them were searching for work.

Employment for students aged 17 to 19 was down 20,000 (-4.1%) in June compared with 12 months earlier. With fewer of them looking for work, their unemployment rate fell 2.2 percentage points to 12.3%. At the same time, their employment rate was 53.8%.

Sustainable Development Goals

On January 1, 2016, the world officially began implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — the United Nations' transformative plan of action that addresses urgent global challenges over the next 15 years. The plan is based on 17 specific sustainable development goals.

The Labour Force Survey is an example of how Statistics Canada supports the reporting on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. This release will be used in helping to measure the following goals:

  Note to readers

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for June are for the week of June 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 the 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 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 Employment, Payrolls 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 people as a percentage of the labour force (employed and unemployed).

The participation rate is the number of employed and unemployed people as a percentage of the population.

Full-time employment consists of persons who usually work 30 hours or more per week at their main or only job.

Part-time employment consists of persons who usually work less than 30 hours per week at their main or only job.

In general, month-to-month or year-to-year changes in the number of people employed in an age group reflect the net effect of two factors: (1) the number of people who changed employment status between reference periods; and (2) the number of employed people who entered or left the age group (including through aging, death or migration) between reference periods.

Seasonal adjustment

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

Chart 1 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 for the national and provincial employment series in table 14-10-0287-01 and for national employment by industry in table 14-10-0355-01. 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 10.


Labour Force Information (Catalogue number71-001-X) is now available for the week ending June 16.

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).

The product Labour Market Indicators, by province and census metropolitan area, seasonally adjusted (Catalogue number71-607-X2017001) is available. This interactive dashboard provides easy, customizable access to key labour market indicators. Users can now configure an interactive map and chart showing labour force characteristics at the national, provincial or census metropolitan area level.

The product Labour Market Indicators, by province, territory and economic region, unadjusted for seasonality (Catalogue number71-607-X2017002) is also available. This dynamic web application provides access to Statistics Canada's labour market indicators for Canada, by province, territory and economic region and allows users to view a snapshot of key labour market indicators, observe geographical rankings for each indicator using an interactive map and table, and easily copy data into other programs.

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;, Vincent Hardy (613-290-3707;, or Client Services (toll-free: 1-866-873-8788;, Labour Statistics Division.

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