Labour market review 2009

By Jeannine Usalcas

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Employment fell in 2009 following sixteen years of increases. The bulk of the employment losses occurred in the first quarter of the year, followed by employment stability from March to July, and an upward trend in the last five months of the year.

During the labour market downturn, hours were cut by employers at almost twice the pace of employment. Despite a year-over-year decline in 2009, hours have been on an upward trend since May.

As manufacturing employment continued to tumble in 2009, the number of manufacturing workers reached a new low in August of that year—slightly lower than the troughs of the recessions in the early 1980s and 1990s.

Mostly due to losses in manufacturing, Ontario experienced the largest job losses, followed by British Columbia.

Youth and men 25 to 54 years of age accounted for most of the declines. On the other hand, those 55 and over ended the year with employment gains, particularly women. There were also gains among the self-employed.

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