Labour Force Survey, November 2021
Employment rose by 154,000 (+0.8%) in November and was 186,000 (+1.0%) higher than its pre-COVID February 2020 level. The unemployment rate fell to 6.0%, within 0.3 percentage points of what it was in February 2020.
Employment increased in both the services-producing and goods-producing sectors in November. Both full-time (+80,000; +0.5%) and part-time (+74,000; +2.1%) work increased, and employment gains were spread across six provinces.
Total hours worked increased 0.7% and returned to the pre-pandemic February 2020 level for the first time. Hours rose across most industries, led by manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, as well as construction. Despite increasing in November, hours in the goods-producing sector were still below their pre-pandemic level (-3.6%). All of the growth compared with February 2020 was in the services-producing sector (+1.3%), most notably in professional scientific and technical services (+12.5%).
November Labour Force Survey (LFS) data reflect labour market conditions during the week of November 7 to 13. Public health measures in place during the reference week were largely similar to those in place in October. In some jurisdictions, most notably in Ontario and Quebec, capacity limits and distancing requirements had been further eased in settings where proof of vaccination is required.
Continuing employment growth
Employment rose by 154,000 (+0.8%) in November and was 186,000 (+1.0%) higher than its pre-COVID February 2020 level.
Employment among core-aged women (25 to 54 years) grew 66,000 (+1.1%), primarily in full-time work (+47,000; +0.9%).
Among core-aged men, employment rose by 48,000 (+0.7%), with gains entirely in full-time work.
The employment rate for women aged 25 to 54 reached an all-time high of 80.7%.
Both full-time (+80,000; +0.5%) and part-time (+74,000; +2.1%) work increased.
Total hours worked increased 0.7%, returning to its pre-pandemic February 2020 level for the first time.
The number of private sector employees rose 107,000 (+0.9%), while there was little change in public sector employment and self-employment.
Two-year wage growth was 5.2% when controlling for changes in the composition of employment by occupation and tenure, and 7.7% when not controlling.
Employment increased in both the services-producing sector (+127,000) and the goods-producing sector (+26,000) in November.
Employment increased in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Unemployment rate approaches pre-pandemic level
The unemployment rate fell 0.7 percentage points to 6.0% in November—the sixth consecutive monthly drop and the largest decline since March 2021.
Total unemployment fell to 1.24 million (-122,000; -8.9%) but remained 98,000 higher than in February 2020.
The number of Canadians unemployed for 27 weeks or more fell 62,000 (-16.2%), the first monthly decline in long-term unemployment since August 2021.
The decline in long-term unemployment was particularly sharp for those who had been unemployed for 52 weeks or more (-23.4%; -56,000).
Record high employment rate among core-aged women
More than 8 in 10 (80.7%) core-aged women aged 25 to 54 were employed in November, the highest employment rate recorded since comparable data became available in 1976 and 1.0 percentage points higher than in February 2020. Employment among core-aged women grew 66,000 (+1.1%) in November, primarily in full-time work (+47,000; +0.9%) with growth spread across several industries.
Among core-aged men, employment rose by 48,000 (+0.7%) in November, with gains entirely in full-time work. The employment rate for men aged 25 to 54 increased 0.5 percentage points to 87.1%, which puts it on par with the recent high in September 2019, and 0.5 percentage points higher than in February 2020.
Employment also increased among women aged 55 and older, up by 19,000 (+1.1%) from October. Despite this increase, their employment continued to lag its February 2020 level by 42,000 (-2.2%). Employment was little changed for older men in November, the eighth consecutive month of little growth. While employment for older men has been on par with February 2020 since March 2021, the employment rate—the proportion of the population who are employed—remained 1.2 percentage points lower than its pre-pandemic level, at 40.4% in November.
Among young women, part-time gains offset by full-time losses
Overall employment among young women aged 15 to 24 was little changed in November as part-time gains (+43,000; +5.9%) were offset by full-time losses (-30,000; -5.3%). Employment increased among teenagers aged 15 to 19 (+18,000; +2.0%) in November, while young women aged 20 to 24 saw little growth for the second consecutive month. Employment and the employment rate for young women remained on par with their February 2020 levels after returning to pre-pandemic levels in August 2021.
Employment among young men aged 15 to 24 was virtually unchanged in November, and was down 33,000 (-2.5%) from February 2020. The larger gap among young men is partly due to a slower return to the November 2019 employment level in accommodation and food services. Compared with November 2019, in November 2021 employment in this industry was 26.6% lower among young men, while it was 12.0% lower among young women (not seasonally adjusted). In addition, a larger proportion of young men work in transportation and warehousing, an industry where their employment remains notably below its November 2019 level (-19,000; -27.8%) (not seasonally adjusted).
Employment rate increases for Black Canadians
The employment rate increased among Black Canadians (+3.0 percentage points to 72.0%) in November. In contrast, the employment rate for Filipino Canadians was down 1.9 percentage points to 78.3%. Among people who are not members of groups designated as visible minorities and who are not Indigenous, the employment rate increased slightly (+0.3 percentage points to 71.2%) after changing little over the previous three months (population aged 15 to 69; not seasonally adjusted).
Employment rate for very recent immigrants remains elevated
The employment rate among very recent immigrants (in Canada for five years or less) was little changed in November at 71.3%, but was 6.5 percentage points higher than in November 2019. Among immigrants who have been in Canada for more than five years, the employment rate was unchanged from November 2019 at 60.3%. For people born in Canada, the employment rate was down 1.6 percentage points from November 2019 to 60.9% (three-month moving averages, not seasonally adjusted).
Employment rate among Indigenous people unchanged from two years earlier
In November, the employment rates among both Indigenous men (60.6%) and women (57.0%) were essentially the same as in November 2019 (three-month moving averages, not seasonally adjusted).
Among non-Indigenous people, the employment rate in November remained lower than two years ago for both men (65.3%; -0.8 percentage points) and women (57.3%; -0.9 percentage points) (three-month moving averages, not seasonally adjusted).
LFS information for Indigenous people reflects the experience of those who identify as First Nations, Métis, or Inuit, and who live off reserve in the provinces.
Proportion of Canadians working from home holds steady for the third consecutive month
Among workers aged 15 to 69 who worked at least half their usual hours, the proportion working from home held steady at 23.5% in November, the third consecutive month of little change.
The number of Canadians working from home was unchanged from October at 4.2 million, but was down by about 400,000 compared with November 2020.
Working from home remains much more prevalent among professional occupations which typically require university education (46.0%) than among occupations which usually require a high school diploma or less (8.0%).
Employment growth led by private-sector employees
The number of private-sector employees rose 107,000 (+0.9%) in November, while there was little change in public sector employment.
In the three months since August, the LFS has recorded an increase of 371,000 (+2.3%) in the number of employees, including an increase of 275,000 (+2.2%) in the private sector. This period of strong growth follows on the heels of job vacancies reaching record levels in the summer. At the beginning of September, Canadian employers were seeking to fill more than 1 million job vacancies, 450,000 more than in the third quarter of 2019 (not seasonally adjusted).
In November 2021, the number of employees exceeded its pre-COVID February 2020 level by 161,000 (+1.3%) in the private sector and by 275,000 (+7.1%) in the public sector.
A notable aspect of the labour market impact of COVID-19 has been its continuing effect on self-employment, with the number of self-employed workers continuing to fall further behind pre-COVID levels over the five months from June to October. While self-employment was little changed in November, the proportion of self-employed workers who transitioned into working as an employee continued to be above the pre-COVID baseline (14.2%, compared with 11.0% in November 2019). The proportion of those who were self-employed in October and were not employed in November 2021 (2.5%), on the other hand, was similar to the level observed two years earlier (not seasonally adjusted).
There were 250,000 (-8.7%) fewer self-employed workers in November 2021 than in February 2020.
Wages up 5.2% over two years, after adjusting for employment composition
For the past several months, Statistics Canada has been tracking growth in average hourly wages using a fixed-weighted average wage that accounts for some of the effects of the unprecedented changes in the composition of employment since February 2020.
Using this approach, which maintains employment composition by occupation and tenure at the 2019 average, average hourly wages were 5.2% higher (+$1.46 to $29.57) in November 2021 compared with two years earlier. Without controlling for changes in the composition of employment, actual average hourly wages of all employees increased 7.7% (+$2.18 to $30.40) over the same two-year period (not seasonally adjusted).
Growth in average wages is often compared with changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which quantifies the change in price for a fixed basket of consumer goods and services. The October CPI indicated an increase in prices of 5.3% from two years earlier. In comparison, fixed-weighted average wages had increased 5.1% from October 2019 to October 2021, or 7.5%, without controlling for composition changes (not seasonally adjusted).
Wages increase more for recent hires than for established employees
The record-high job vacancies in September have continued to focus attention on the question of whether employers in some industries might raise wages to address recruitment and retention challenges. Across all industries, from November 2019 to November 2021, average wages increased at a faster rate for new employees (defined as those with job tenure of three months or less) (+10.0%; +$2.09) than for employees who have been in their current job for a longer period (defined as those with job tenure of more than 18 months) (+6.4%; +$1.95) (three-month moving averages, not seasonally adjusted).
In the accommodation and food services industry, average wages for new employees increased 8.5% from two years earlier, while wages for established employees were up 2.3%. However, this trend was not as evident for some occupations in this industry. Among food and beverage servers, average hourly wages for new employees ($16.92) were little changed in November compared with two years earlier, possibly an indication that employers in this industry face challenges adjusting wages in the context of current business conditions (three-month moving average, not seasonally adjusted).
Within the health care and social assistance industry, which recorded some of the highest levels of job vacancies in the summer of 2021, overall average hourly wages among recently hired nurses increased 20.5% to $35.40 in the two years ending in November, while nurses who had been employed for longer than 18 months saw an increase of 2.3%, to $40.47 (three-month moving averages, not seasonally adjusted).
Even within specific industry and occupation groups, changes in average wages can be the result of many factors, including changes in the distribution of full-time versus part-time work.
Unemployment rate approaches pre-pandemic level
The unemployment rate fell 0.7 percentage points to 6.0% in November. This was the sixth consecutive monthly drop and the largest decline since March 2021. Prior to the pandemic, the unemployment rate had hit a record low of 5.4% in May 2019, and was 5.7% in February 2020.
Total unemployment fell to 1.24 million (-122,000; -8.9%) in November 2021, but remained 98,000 (+8.6%) higher than the 1.15 million people who were unemployed in February 2020.
The adjusted unemployment rate—which includes people who wanted a job, but did not look for one—was 7.8% in November 2021, 0.3 percentage points above its February 2020 level.
First decline in long-term unemployment since August
The number of Canadians unemployed for 27 weeks or more fell 62,000 (-16.2%) in November, the first monthly decline in long-term unemployment since August 2021. Long-term unemployment fell more for women (-43,000; -24.2%) than for men (-19,000; -9.4%), with the decline spread across the core-aged and 55 and older age groups. The decline was particularly sharp for those who had been unemployed for 52 weeks or more (-56,000; -23.4%).
Long-term unemployment as a proportion of total unemployment fell 2.2 percentage points to 25.6% in November, following four months of little change. The share remained elevated compared with the level of 15.6% observed prior to the pandemic.
Unemployment rate recovers for core-aged men and women
The unemployment rate fell among both core-aged men (-0.8 percentage points to 5.1%) and women (-0.7 percentage points to 4.5%) in November, with both rates returning to pre-pandemic levels for the first time.
The unemployment rate also fell among men aged 55 and older (-0.7 percentage points to 6.7%) and women in the same age group (-0.9 percentage points to 6.9%) in November. Both rates remain above February 2020 levels (+1.4 percentage points for men, +1.9 percentage points for women).
After having recovered to February 2020 levels in October 2021, the unemployment rate among young men aged 15 to 24 increased 1.1 percentage points to 13.0% in November, as more of them searched for work. Among young women, the unemployment rate (7.9%) was on par with its pre-COVID level and little changed for the fourth consecutive month.
Unemployment rate falls for some groups designated as visible minorities
The unemployment rate among people belonging to population groups designated as visible minorities was 7.4% in November, down 0.7 percentage points from October. Declines were seen among Arab (-2.8 percentage points to 10.0%), South Asian (-1.8 percentage points to 6.8%) and Chinese (-1.2 percentage points to 8.2%) Canadians (population aged 15 to 69; not seasonally adjusted).
The unemployment rate also fell among people who were not Indigenous and not a member of a visible minority group, down 0.3 percentage points to 4.7% (population aged 15 to 69; not seasonally adjusted).
Labour underutilization rate falls to lowest level since onset of the pandemic
Since March 2020, Statistics Canada has reported a labour underutilization rate designed to capture the unprecedented labour market impacts of COVID-19. Above and beyond the unemployment rate, this rate reflects the proportion of people in the potential labour force who are unemployed; want a job but have not looked for one; or are employed but working less than half of their usual hours. The overall underutilization rate fell 0.7 percentage points to 12.4% in November, the lowest level since February 2020.
Three components of labour underutilization fell in November. The number of people who wanted a job but did not look for one dropped by 62,000 (-13.7%) and returned to its pre-pandemic level for the first time. The number of job searchers also fell (-86,000; -6.9%), but remained 113,000 (+10.9%) higher than in February 2020. Following an uptick in October, the number of people on temporary layoff decreased by 36,000 (-28.4%) in November, returning to a level on par with February 2020.
In contrast, the number of people working less than half their usual hours rose modestly (+38,000; +4.1%) in November and remained elevated (+155,000; +19.1%) compared with February 2020.
Labour force participation remains at record high for core-age population
The labour force participation rate—the share of the population working or searching for work—was 65.3% in November, unchanged from October, and virtually the same as in February 2020 (65.5%). Similarly, the participation rate for the core-age population remained at a record high of 88.2% for the third consecutive month. Within the core-aged population, the participation rates for both men (91.8%) and women (84.6%) also held steady in November.
The participation rate for young men aged 15 to 24 rose 0.7 percentage points to 64.2% in November, while the rate among young women (65.7%) was little changed. Compared with February 2020, overall labour force participation was little changed in November for both male and female youth. However, the participation rate among teens aged 15 to 19 (51.8%) was higher than in February 2020, while the rate among young adults aged 20 to 24 was lower than in February 2020, mostly among young women in this age group (down 2.2 percentage points to 75.2%).
Among the population aged 55 and older, the participation rate was unchanged in November for both men (43.3%) and women (31.4%). Meanwhile, the participation rates for both older men (-0.7 percentage points) and older women (-1.2 percentage points) remained below their pre-pandemic levels.
Employment grows in both the services-producing and the goods-producing sectors
Employment increased in both the services-producing sector (+127,000) and the goods-producing sector (+26,000) in November. While employment in services-producing industries has increased in five of the last six months, the November gain in goods-producing industries marks the first overall increase in this sector since March 2021.
Employment increased in several services-producing industries in November, led by health care and social assistance (+44,000), retail trade (+34,000) and professional, scientific, and technical services (+28,000). At the same time, employment declined in "other services" (-16,000).
Nearly all of the gains in the goods-producing sector were attributable to manufacturing (+35,000), while a decline was recorded in utilities (-3,800).
Employment little changed in accommodation and food services, while it increases in retail trade
Employment in accommodation and food services held steady in November following declines in September and October. Employment in the sector was below its pre-pandemic level nationally (-16.5%; -202,000) and in all provinces except New Brunswick.
As public health restrictions were eased over the summer, employment in accommodation and food services grew by 211,000 from May to August. According to data from the Survey of Employment Payrolls and Hours (SEPH), most of the gains in payroll employment over this period were concentrated in full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places.
Despite growing employment earlier in the summer, employers in accommodation and food services also faced challenges recruiting employees, and vacancies remained at record highs throughout the summer. By September, the industry had more vacancies (196,100, not seasonally adjusted) than any other.
In contrast to the ongoing challenges faced by the accommodation and food services industry, the number of people working in retail trade increased by 34,000 (+1.5%) in November, adding to a gain of 72,000 recorded in October. Employment in this industry surpassed its pre-COVID February 2020 level for the first time (+35,000; +1.5%) in November.
First employment gain in health care and social assistance since June
The number of people working in health care and social assistance rose by 44,000 (+1.7%) in November, the first increase since June. The increase was largely the result of gains in Ontario and British Columbia. Nationally, a notable employment increase (+33,000, not seasonally adjusted) was recorded among assisting occupations in support of health services, an occupational group which includes nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates.
The November employment increase in health care and social assistance follows a recent rise in job vacancies in the industry. According to results from the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS), job vacancies in health care and social assistance reached 131,200 in September 2021, double the number recorded in the third quarter of 2019 (66,100) (not seasonally adjusted).
Growth resumes in professional, scientific, and technical services
After declining in October, employment in professional, scientific and technical services increased by 28,000 (+1.7%) in November. Employment was 12.3% (+190,000) above its February 2020 level.
An employment gain (+9,500; +0.9%) was also recorded in public administration in November. The number of people working in the industry has grown in three of the last four months and was 10.9% (+109,000) above its pre-COVID level in November.
More people working in transportation and warehousing in November
The number of people working in transportation and warehousing increased by 18,000 (+1.8%) in November. Employment in the industry has increased by 50,000 since June 2021, and is now at or above its pre-COVID level in all provinces except Newfoundland and Labrador.
First increase in the goods-producing sector since March 2021
Employment in the goods-producing sector rose by 26,000 (+0.7%) in November, the first increase since March 2021.
There were 35,000 (+2.0%) more people working in manufacturing in November 2021, with most of the gains attributable to Quebec and British Columbia. Nationally, the rise was mostly concentrated in part-time work (+25,000, not seasonally adjusted).
Employment in construction was unchanged for the third consecutive month, and a decline of 3,800 (-2.7%) was recorded in utilities.
Despite the November gain, the number of people working in the goods-producing sector remains below what it was in both March 2021 (-73,000) and February 2020 (-108,000).
Employment up in six provinces
Employment increased in six provinces in November: Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. There was little change in British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.
For further information on key province and industry level labour market indicators, see "Labour Force Survey in brief: Interactive app."
Employment in Ontario rose in November (+68,000; +0.9%) for the sixth consecutive month, bringing total gains since May to 421,000 (+5.9%). Increases were in full-time work and notably in health care and social assistance, wholesale and retail trade, construction, and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing. The unemployment rate fell for the sixth consecutive month, down 0.6 percentage points to 6.4%, the lowest since February 2020.
After a pause in October, employment growth resumed in the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA) in November (+44,000; +1.2%), bringing overall gains since May to 311,000 (+9.5%). In November, the Toronto CMA posted an unemployment rate of 7.0%, down 0.9 percentage points from October and the lowest since February 2020.
Following an increase in September and little change in October, employment in Quebec rose by 46,000 (+1.1%) in November. The unemployment rate fell 1.1 percentage points to 4.5%, matching the pre-pandemic rate of February 2020. The gain in employment was all in part-time work and was spread across manufacturing and a number of industries in the services-producing sector.
In November, the Montréal CMA posted its first notable increase in employment (+56,000; +2.5%) since June 2021 and the unemployment rate fell from 6.4% in October to 4.8% in November, on par with the rate of 4.9% in February 2020.
In Alberta, employment rose by 15,000 (+0.7%) in November, with the "other services," wholesale and retail trade, and construction industries accounting for the increase. The unemployment rate was unchanged from October at 7.6%. At 64.0%, the employment rate was the highest among all provinces.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, employment rose by 9,100 (+4.1%), the first notable increase since March 2021. The increase was nearly all in full-time work. The unemployment rate fell 3.5 percentage points to 10.4% as the number of unemployed decreased by 8,800.
Employment was also up in Nova Scotia (+3,700; +0.8%) and Prince Edward Island (+2,900; +3.6%) in November. The unemployment rate was little changed in Nova Scotia at 8.1% and fell to 8.0% (-1.1 percentage points) in Prince Edward Island.
In British Columbia, employment held steady for a fifth consecutive month, and the unemployment rate was 5.6% in November. The recent severe flooding affecting the southwest region of the province occurred after most survey collection was completed, and did not affect LFS results for November.
Looking ahead: labour market imbalances and skills shortages
Job vacancy data for September and LFS results for November suggest that labour markets increasingly resemble those observed since the summer of 2019, when Canada's unemployment rate fell to a record low, average wages increased after a prolonged period of little growth, and job vacancies ticked upwards. These conditions are likely to contribute to new or worsening imbalances in provincial, regional and local labour markets, including shortages of specific skills, or geographic mismatches between vacant positions and available workers with the skills to fill them.
Some employers may be responding to such imbalances by reconsidering the educational requirements of some positions, perhaps with the intention of compensating with on-the-job training. For example, from November 2019 to November 2021, overall employment in occupations which usually require a university education increased by 490,000 (+12.3%). Over the same period, the number of workers who occupy these positions but have a high school diploma or less increased by 43.4% (+73,000) (not seasonally adjusted). Similarly, among workers who recently started a job that typically requires university education, the share who had a high school diploma or less reached 9.6% in November, up from 4.0% in November 2019 (job tenure of three months or less, not seasonally adjusted).
While employment has increased on a two-year basis in occupations requiring a university education, it has decreased (-151,000; -2.2%) in occupations requiring a high school diploma or less. A number of indicators suggest that this due at least in part to imbalances between employers seeking to fill jobs requiring this level of education and the supply of workers available and willing to take them.
On the one hand, job vacancies in industries where jobs requiring a high school diploma or less are most common, such as accommodation and food services, have been elevated since the summer of 2021, signalling that employment growth has been constrained by unmet demand for labour.
On the other hand, the unemployment rate among people with a high school diploma or less fell below its pre-COVID 2019 level for the first time in November (8.0%, compared with 8.4% in November 2019, not seasonally adjusted), suggesting that the number of these workers available to fill vacancies is decreasing. This is supported by measures of month-to-month flows into employment. Among those with a high school diploma or less who were unemployed in October, or wanted a job but did not look for one, nearly one in five (19.1%) became employed in November, up from 14.8% in the corresponding period in 2019 (not seasonally adjusted).
Over the coming months, Statistics Canada will continue to report on labour market conditions, including imbalances between the supply and the demand for particular workers and skills using a combination of data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH) and the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS).
JVWS results for the third quarter, featuring detailed information on the skills, offered wage and geographic distribution of vacancies will be released on December 20, 2021. LFS results for the week of December 5 to 11 will be released on January 7, 2022.
Labour force characteristics by province, age group and sex, seasonally adjusted (Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick)
Labour force characteristics by province, age group and sex, seasonally adjusted (Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia)
Labour force characteristics by census metropolitan area, three-month moving average, seasonally adjusted
Labour force characteristics by Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver census metropolitan areas, monthly, seasonally adjusted
Labour force characteristics by province and economic region, three-month moving average ending in November 2020 and November 2021, unadjusted for seasonality
Average usual hours and wages of employees by selected characteristics, unadjusted for seasonality
Regional unemployment rates used by the Employment Insurance program,, three-month moving average, seasonally adjusted
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 November are for the week of November 7 to 13.
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."
This analysis focuses on differences between estimates that are statistically significant at the 68% confidence level.
LFS estimates at the Canada level do not include the territories.
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 those from the SEPH, refer to section 8 of the Guide to the Labour Force Survey (). 71-543-G
Since March 2020, all LFS face-to-face interviews have been replaced by telephone interviews to protect the health of both respondents and interviewers. While this has resulted in a decline in the LFS response rate, about 41,500 interviews were completed in November and in-depth data quality evaluations conducted each month confirm that the LFS continues to produce an accurate portrait of Canada's labour market.
The suspension of face-to-face interviewing has had a larger impact on response rates in Nunavut than in other jurisdictions. Due to the larger decline in response rates for Nunavut, and resulting changes in the composition of the responding sample, data for Nunavut (table 14-10-0292-01) should be used with caution. To reduce the risks associated with declining data quality for Nunavut, users are advised to use 12-month averages (available upon request) rather than 3-month averages when possible. Statistics Canada will continue to monitor the quality of LFS data for Nunavut each month and provide users with updated guidelines as required.
In addition, all telephone interviews were conducted by interviewers working from their home and none were done from Statistics Canada's call centres.
The distribution of LFS interviews in November 2021 compared with October 2021, was as follows:
Telephone interviews – from interviewer homes
• October 2021: 62.4%
• November 2021: 63.6%
• October 2021: 37.6%
• November 2021: 36.4%
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 aged 15 and older.
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.
The industry re-employment rate refers to the proportion of people re-hired in the same industry that they last worked in, among those who moved from unemployment to employment. Only people with a recent industry attachment are included in the calculation. A person is considered to have a recent industry attachment if they worked within the last 12 months.
The rate is presented as a three-month moving average (not seasonally adjusted). For calculation purposes, the respondent's prior month (during a spell of unemployment) weight is used.
Supplementary indicators used in November 2021 analysis
Employed, worked zero hours includes employees and self-employed who were absent from work all week, but excludes people who have been away for reasons such as 'vacation,' 'maternity,' 'seasonal business,' and 'labour dispute.'
Employed, worked less than half of their usual hours includes both employees and self-employed, where only employees were asked to provide a reason for the absence. This excludes reasons for absence such as 'vacation,' 'labour dispute,' 'maternity,' 'holiday,' and 'weather.' Also excludes those who were away all week.
Not in labour force but wanted work includes persons who were neither employed, nor unemployed during the reference period and wanted work, but did not search for reasons such as 'waiting for recall (to former job),' 'waiting for replies from employers,' 'believes no work available (in area, or suited to skills),' 'long-term future start,' and 'other.'
Unemployed, job searchers were without work, but had looked for work in the past four weeks ending with the reference period and were available for work.
Unemployed, temporary layoff or future starts were on temporary layoff due to business conditions, with an expectation of recall, and were available for work; or were without work, but had a job to start within four weeks from the reference period and were available for work (don't need to have looked for work during the four weeks ending with the reference week).
Labour underutilization rate (specific definition to measure the COVID-19 impact) combines all those who were unemployed with those who were not in the labour force but wanted a job and did not look for one; as well as those who remained employed but lost all or the majority of their usual work hours for reasons likely related to COVID-19 as a proportion of the potential labour force.
Potential labour force (specific definition to measure the impact of COVID-19) includes people in the labour force (all employed and unemployed people), and people not in the labour force who wanted a job but didn't search for reasons such as 'waiting for recall (to former job),' 'waiting for replies from employers,' 'believes no work available (in area, or suited to skills),' 'long-term future start,' and 'other.'
Information on population groups
Since July 2020, the LFS has included a question asking respondents to report the population group(s) to which they belong. Possible responses, which are the same as in the 2021 Census of Population, include:
• South Asian e.g., East Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan
• Latin American
• Southeast Asian e.g., Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Thai
• West Asian e.g., Iranian, Afghan
According to the Employment Equity Act, visible minorities are "persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour." In the text, people who identify as a member of a population group (visible minority) are analyzed separately.
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.
The seasonally adjusted data for retail trade and wholesale trade industries presented here are not published in other public LFS tables. A seasonally adjusted series is published for the combined industry classification (wholesale and retail trade).
The next release of the LFS will be on January 7, 2022. December data will reflect labour market conditions during the week of December 5 to 11, 2021.
More information about the concepts and use of the Labour Force Survey is available online in the Guide to the Labour Force Survey (71-543-G).
The product "Labour Force Survey in brief: Interactive app" (14200001) is also available. This interactive visualization application provides seasonally adjusted estimates by province, sex, age group and industry.
The product "Labour Market Indicators, by province and census metropolitan area, seasonally adjusted" (71-607-X) is also available. This interactive dashboard provides customizable access to key labour market indicators.
The product "Labour Market Indicators, by province, territory and economic region, unadjusted for seasonality" (71-607-X) is also available. This dynamic web application provides access to labour market indicators for Canada, province, territory and economic region.
The product Labour Force Survey: Public Use Microdata File (71M0001X) is also available. This public use microdata file contains non-aggregated data for a wide variety of variables collected from the Labour Force Survey. The data have been modified to ensure that no individual or business is directly or indirectly identified. This product is for users who prefer to do their own analysis by focusing on specific subgroups in the population or by cross-classifying variables that are not in our catalogued products.
For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Media Relations (email@example.com).