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Labour Force Survey, September 2018

Released: 2018-10-05

Employment rose by 63,000 in September, driven by an increase in part-time employment. The unemployment rate declined 0.1 percentage points to 5.9%.

Compared with September 2017, employment was up 222,000 or 1.2%, entirely the result of gains in full-time work (+224,000). Over the same period, total hours worked increased 0.7%.

In the third quarter, employment grew by 66,000 (+0.4%), following little change in the first and second quarters.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Employment
Employment

Highlights

Employment increased in Ontario and British Columbia while it was little changed in the remaining provinces.

More people worked in construction; finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing; public administration; and agriculture. At the same time, employment fell in information, culture and recreation; and business, building and other support services.

Employment increased for private sector employees while the number of public sector employees was little changed. The number of self-employed workers decreased.

Employment increased for the core age population (aged 25 to 54) and held steady for the other demographic groups.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Unemployment rate
Unemployment rate

Employment up in Ontario and British Columbia

In Ontario, employment increased by 36,000, the third increase in four months. Part-time employment rose by 39,000 while full-time employment was little changed. At the same time, the unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage points to 5.9%. On a year-over-year basis, full-time employment grew by 103,000 and part-time employment was little changed.

The level of part-time employment observed in September 2018 is consistent with typical seasonal patterns. On a seasonally unadjusted basis, declines in part-time employment usually observed in July occurred this year in August, resulting in offsetting movements in seasonally adjusted estimates for these months. Further analysis will be undertaken to identify the labour market conditions contributing to these trends.

Employment in British Columbia increased by 33,000, driven by gains in full-time work (+26,000). In the third quarter, employment increased by 54,000, following a decline over the first half of 2018. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment rose by 43,000 (+1.7%). After increasing 0.7 percentage points over the first eight months of 2018, the unemployment rate fell 1.1 percentage points to 4.2% in September.

In Quebec, employment was little changed as declines in full-time work (-41,000) offset gains in part-time work (+33,000). The unemployment rate decreased 0.3 percentage points to 5.3%. On a year-over-year basis, employment was little changed.

Quarterly update for the territories

The Labour Force Survey collects labour market data in the territories, produced in the form of three-month moving averages.

In the third quarter, employment in Nunavut increased by an estimated 500 compared with the second quarter. The unemployment rate was little changed.

In Yukon, employment fell by an estimated 400 in the third quarter compared with the second quarter. The unemployment rate increased 0.9 percentage points to 3.2% and the employment rate fell 1.6 percentage points to 71.5%.

Employment in the Northwest Territories increased by an estimated 900 in the third quarter compared with the second quarter. The unemployment rate fell by 3.9 percentage points to 4.7% as fewer people searched for work.

Industry perspective

In construction, employment rose by 28,000 in September, offsetting declines in the previous two months. Compared with September 2017, employment rose by 34,000 (+2.4%).

In finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, employment increased by 13,000, driven by gains in Ontario and Alberta. On a year-over-year basis, employment was little changed.

Employment rose by 12,000 in public administration. Compared with a year earlier, employment increased by 20,000 (+2.1%) at the national level.

There were 9,000 more people working in agriculture in September, following a downward trend from May to August. On a year-over-year basis, employment was little changed.

In information, culture and recreation, employment decreased by 17,000, driven by declines in Quebec. In the 12 months to September, the number of workers in this industry was little changed at the national level.

There were 10,000 fewer people working in business, building and other support services. On a year-over-year basis, employment was little changed.

Employment rose by 96,000 among private sector employees in September, the first increase since November 2017. The number of public sector employees was little changed compared with August 2018. On a year-over-year basis, employment increased for both private (+147,000 or +1.2%) and public (+79,000 or +2.1%) sector employees.

The number of self-employed workers fell by 35,000 in the month. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment among self-employed workers was little changed.

Core-aged workers drive employment gains

Employment for people in the core-aged group (25 to 54) rose by 54,000 in September, driven by increases in part-time work (+46,000). Employment gains were recorded among both core-aged men (+34,000) and women (+20,000). The unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points, to 5.1% for men and 5.0% for women. On a year-over-year basis, employment in this age group rose for both men (+80,000 or +1.3%) and women (+80,000 or +1.4%).

The number of workers aged 55 and over was little changed in September following a decline in August. Their unemployment rate was little changed at 5.2%. Compared with September 2017, employment was up by 52,000 (+1.3%), with full-time employment increasing by 82,000 and part-time employment declining by 31,000.

Employment for youth aged 15 to 24 was little changed as increases in part-time work (+38,000) were more than offset by decreases in full-time work (-44,000). Their unemployment rate was 11.0%. On a year-over-year basis, employment was little changed.













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 September are for the week of September 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 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 November 2.

In the coming months, the LFS Daily will be enhanced to make greater use of data visualisation.

Products

Labour Force Information (Catalogue number71-001-X), is now available for the week ending September 15.

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 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; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact, Marton Lovei (613-240-3623; marton.lovei@canada.ca), Vincent Ferrao (613-951-4750; vincent.ferrao@canada.ca), or Client Services (toll-free: 1-866-873-8788; statcan.labour-travail.statcan@canada.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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