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Labour Force Survey, April 2019

Released: 2019-05-10

Employment rose by 107,000 in April, with notable gains in part-time work for youth. The unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage points to 5.7% as more people participated in the labour market.

On a year-over-year basis, employment grew by 426,000 (+2.3%), with gains in both full-time (+248,000) and part-time (+179,000) work. Over the same period, total hours worked were up 1.3%.

To explore the most recent results from the Labour Force Survey in an interactive format, visit the "Labour Force Survey in brief: Interactive app."

Chart 1  Chart 1: Employment
Employment

Chart 2  Chart 2: Unemployment rate
Unemployment rate

Highlights

Employment increased in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and Prince Edward Island. It declined in New Brunswick, and was little changed in the other provinces.

Employment rose for youth aged 15 to 24, people aged 55 and older, and women in the core working ages of 25 to 54.

Employment gains were spread across several industries: wholesale and retail trade; construction; information, culture and recreation; "other services"; public administration; and agriculture. At the same time, employment decreased in professional, scientific and technical services.

The number of employees in both the private and public sectors increased, while there was no change in self-employment.

Employment up in four provinces

Employment in Ontario rose by 47,000 in April, primarily due to gains in part-time work among people aged 15 to 24. Youth employment in the province has been trending upward since the beginning of 2019. The unemployment rate was little changed in April at 6.0% as more people participated in the labour market. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment grew by 205,000 or 2.8%.

In Quebec, employment increased by 38,000 in April, and the unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage points to 4.9%, the lowest rate since comparable data became available in 1976. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province rose by 75,000 (+1.8%), with all of the increase occurring since October 2018.

Following two months of little change, employment in Alberta rose by 21,000 in April. Gains were primarily spread across several services-producing industries. The unemployment rate was 6.7%. On a year-over-year basis, employment grew by 27,000 (+1.1%).

In Prince Edward Island, employment rose by an estimated 800 and the unemployment rate was little changed at 8.6%. On a year-over-year basis, employment grew by 2,600 (+3.5%).

In New Brunswick, employment declined by 3,900 as gains in part-time work were more than offset by decreases in full-time employment. The unemployment rate was little changed at 8.0%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment was virtually unchanged.

Youth employment continues upward trend

Among youth aged 15 to 24, overall employment rose by 47,000 in April, driven by a strong increase in part-time work (+66,000). The youth unemployment rate was 10.3%, the lowest rate since comparable data became available in 1976. On a year-over-year basis, youth employment was up by 89,000 (+3.6%), entirely due to gains in 2019.

Among those aged 55 and older, employment increased by 34,000 in April, primarily due to gains for men in this age category (+26,000). The unemployment rate for people aged 55 and older decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 5.3% as more people participated in the labour market. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment for this age group was up by 161,000 (+4.0%).

Employment increased by 24,000 in April for women in the core working ages of 25 to 54, while it was little changed for their male counterparts. The unemployment rate for this age group was 4.8% for women and 5.0% for men. On a year-over-year basis, employment increased by 103,000 (+1.8%) among core-aged women and by 74,000 (+1.2%) among core-aged men.

Notable gains in trade and construction

Employment was up by 32,000 in wholesale and retail trade in April, driven by increases in Quebec and Alberta. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this industry grew by 75,000 (+2.7%), entirely due to gains since the beginning of 2019.

Following four months of little change, employment in construction increased by 29,000 in April. Gains were concentrated in Ontario and British Columbia. On a year-over-year basis, employment in this industry was up by 32,000 (+2.2%).

There were 14,000 more people working in information, culture and recreation, entirely due to increases in Ontario. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this industry was little changed.

In "other services," employment rose by 14,000 in April. This industry includes repair and maintenance; services related to civic and professional organizations; and personal and laundry services. Increases were concentrated in Quebec and Alberta. On a year-over-year basis, employment in this industry grew by 28,000 (+3.5%).

Employment in public administration increased by 9,000 in April, entirely due to more people working in this industry in Quebec. On a year-over-year basis, employment grew by 41,000 (+4.2%) at the national level, driven by gains since the beginning of 2019.

In agriculture, employment rose by 7,000 in April. On a year-over-year basis, employment in this industry was little changed.

Employment decreased by 15,000 in professional, scientific and technical services, mostly in Quebec. Nationally, this was the first monthly decline since August 2018. Despite the decrease in the month, employment in this industry grew by 63,000 (+4.3%) on a year-over-year basis.

Private sector employees leading growth

The increased employment in April was driven by more employees in the private sector (+84,000), while there were also gains in public sector employment (+23,000). There was no change in the number of self-employed. Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of private-sector employees increased by 355,000 or 3.0%, the fastest pace of year-over-year growth for this group since December 2010. Over the same period, there were 47,000 (+1.2%) more public sector employees, while the number of self-employed was little changed.

Canada–US comparison

Adjusted to US concepts, the unemployment rate in Canada was 4.7% in April, compared with 3.6% in the United States. On a year-over-year basis, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points in Canada and by 0.3 percentage points in the United States.

The labour force participation rate in Canada (adjusted to US concepts) was 65.8% in April, compared with 62.8% in the United States. Compared with 12 months earlier, the participation rate increased by 0.5 percentage points in Canada, while it was unchanged in the United States.

The US-adjusted employment rate in Canada was 62.7% in April, compared with 60.6% in the United States. On a year-over-year basis, the employment rate rose by 0.6 percentage points in Canada and was little changed in the United States.

For more information on Canada–US comparisons, see "Measuring Employment and Unemployment in Canada and the United States – A comparison."













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 April are for the week of April 14 to 20.

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.

Total hours worked refers to the number of hours actually worked at the main job by the respondent during the reference week, including paid and unpaid hours. These hours reflect temporary decreases or increases in work hours (for example, hours lost due to illness, vacation, holidays, or weather; or more hours worked due to overtime).

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.

To align with priorities established by the Gender Results Framework, new indicators have been added to tables 14-10-0340-02, 14-10-0335-02, 14-10-0335-03 and 14-10-0327-03, detailing Labour Force Survey characteristics by gender. These new indicators highlight the differences in employment characteristics between women and men, such as the wage gap by occupation, the proportion employed by occupation, and the proportion working full-time or part-time jobs.

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 June 7.

Products

Labour Force Information (Catalogue number71-001-X), is now available for the week ending April 20.

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 Force Survey in brief: Interactive app" (Catalogue number14200001) is now available. This interactive visualization application provides seasonally adjusted estimates available by province, sex, age group and industry. Historical estimates going back five years are also included for monthly employment changes and unemployment rates. The interactive application allows users to quickly and easily explore and personalize the information presented. Combine multiple provinces, sexes and age groups to create your own labour market domains of interest.

The product "Labour Market Indicators, by census metropolitan area, seasonally adjusted" (Catalogue number71-607-X) is also 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-X) 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 Martha Patterson (613-299-3942; martha.patterson@canada.ca) or Dylan Saunders (613-762-6972; dylan.saunders@canada.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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