The labour market in 2008

By Jeannine Usalcas

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Employment followed an upward trend over the first nine months of 2008 (161,000 or 0.9%), but toward the end of the year began to fall, declining by 81,000 in the last quarter.

Total actual hours worked dropped throughout 2008, ending the year 1.2% lower in the last quarter than in the same quarter of 2007.

Average hourly earnings growth remained strong in 2008 at 4.3%, following a 4.9% increase in 2007.

Although manufacturing lost 35,000 workers in 2008 (-1.7%), this was less than the 129,000 drop in 2007 (-6.1%).

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