The Daily
 In the news  Indicators  Releases by subject
 Special interest  Release schedule  Information

Labour Force Survey, November 2019

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Released: 2019-12-06

After holding steady in October, employment fell by 71,000 (-0.4%) in November. The unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage points to 5.9%.

Compared with November 2018, employment gains totalled 293,000 (+1.6%), with the increase largely accounted for by full-time work. Over the same period, total hours worked grew by 0.2%.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Employment

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


In November, employment declined in Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia, while it was little changed in the other provinces.

Employment was down for men in the core working ages of 25 to 54 and women aged 55 and over.

Declines in employment were recorded both in the goods-producing sector, specifically in manufacturing and natural resources, as well as in the services-producing sector, notably in public administration.

The number of private-sector employees was down, while self-employment and public-sector employment held steady.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Unemployment rate
Unemployment rate

Employment down in Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia

In Quebec, 45,000 fewer people were employed in November, with the decline largely attributable to manufacturing as well as accommodation and food services. As more people searched for work, the unemployment rate in the province increased by 0.6 percentage points to 5.6%. Despite the monthly decline, total employment in Quebec was up by 45,000 (+1.0%) on a year-over-year basis.

Employment in Alberta fell by 18,000 in November, with declines occurring in a number of industries, led by wholesale and retail trade. On a year-over-year basis, total employment in the province was little changed. With more people seeking employment, the unemployment rate in Alberta rose by 0.5 percentage points to 7.2% in November, a rate observed as recently as August.

Employment in British Columbia also fell by 18,000 in November, with declines spread across several industries. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was little changed. The unemployment rate rose to 5.0% in November from 4.7% in October.

While employment in Ontario held steady in November, the unemployment rate increased by 0.3 percentage points to 5.6% as a result of more people looking for work.

Employment in Saskatchewan was little changed, while the unemployment rate rose to 5.8% (+0.7 percentage points) as more people looked for work. There was also little employment change in Manitoba, and the unemployment rate edged up 0.3 percentage points to 5.6% in November.

Fewer workers among men aged 25 to 54 and women 55 and over

Employment among core-aged men declined for the second consecutive month, down 30,000 in November. At the same time, their unemployment rate rose by 0.6 percentage points to 5.3% as more of them looked for work. On a year-over-year basis, employment growth among core-aged men totalled 51,000 (+0.8%).

While the number of workers among core-aged women was little changed in November, their unemployment rate rose by 0.3 percentage points to 4.7% as more of them looked for work.

Following an increase in October, employment fell by 21,000 for women aged 55 and over in November, and their unemployment rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 4.7%. On a year-over-year basis, employment for women in this age group held steady.

While men aged 55 and over saw little change in their employment in November, their gains totalled 101,000 (+4.6%) on a year-over-year basis. Their unemployment rate was also little changed in November, at 4.9%.

In November, employment for young people aged 15 to 24 was little changed, as was their unemployment rate, which stood at 11.6%. Nonetheless, youth employment rose by 96,000 (+3.9%) from 12 months earlier, driven by 20- to 24-year-olds.

Employment down in both goods and services

In November, employment fell in both the goods-producing and services-producing sectors.

In the goods-producing sector, fewer people worked in manufacturing (-28,000) and in natural resources (-6,500), with most of the declines in each of these industries observed in Quebec. On a year-over-year basis, national employment in manufacturing was little changed, while it declined in natural resources (-25,000 or -7.2%), largely in Alberta and British Columbia.

The employment decrease in the services-producing sector was mostly accounted for by public administration, where the number of workers fell by 25,000 in November. The bulk of this decline was in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta. On a year-over-year basis, employment gains in public administration totalled 49,000 (+5.0%) at the national level, reflecting an upward trend that began at the start of the year. Most of these gains were accounted for by Ontario and British Columbia.

Fewer private-sector employees in November

There were 50,000 fewer private-sector employees in November, while self-employment and public-sector employment were little changed. On a year-over-year basis, the number of private-sector employees increased by 146,000 (+1.2%), while public-sector employment was up by 115,000 (+3.0%) and self-employment held steady.

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 sustainable development goals. This release will be used to help measure the following goals:

  Note to readers

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for November are for the week of November 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 the SEPH, refer to section 8 of the Guide to the Labour Force Survey (Catalogue number71-543-G).

LFS estimates at the Canada level do not include the territories.

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 update concepts related to duration of unemployment, seasonally adjusted data and standard errors have been added to table 14-10-0342-01, detailing duration of unemployment categories by sex and age group. Three new duration of unemployment categories (14 to 26 weeks, less than 27 weeks, 52 weeks or more) have been added to the table, replacing previous categories in archived table 14-10-0056-01. These new categories align with those used in the Employment Insurance program and provide better insight on duration of unemployment characteristics. Two new indicators (percentage unemployed less than 27 weeks, percentage unemployed 27 weeks or more) have also been added, as the latter can be used as an indicator of long-term unemployment.

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 January 10, 2020.


Labour Force Information (Catalogue number71-001-X) is now available for the week ending November 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 Force Survey in brief: Interactive app" (Catalogue number14200001) is also 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;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Vincent Ferrao (613-951-4750; or Lahouaria Yssaad (613-951-0627;, Centre for Labour Market Information.

Date modified: