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Introduction

June 2018

Unemployment Rate

Labour Force

Employment Insurance

Labour Force Survey

Payroll Employment, Earnings & Hours


Unemployment Rate

 

Northeastern BC Unemployment Rates

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

2009

4.6

4.6

6.5

6.5

8.4

7.7

7.0

8.3

7.9

7.2

5.5

5.4

2010

4.9

4.4

4.6

5.3

6.9

7.5

7.2

6.7

7.6

7.6

6.4

7.1

2011

9.0

9.1

8.1

5.4

5.1

4.0

4.4

4.2

4.3

4.3

2012

3.7

3.6

4.2

3.9

4.8

4.3

4.8

4.4

3.8

2013

4.1

4.6

5.2

6.1

4.9

4.5

4.4

4.9

4.9

3.6

4.7

2014

6.6

7.4

8.2

8.6

8.0

5.9

4.7

4.1

4.0

2015

4.2

4.7

5.9

6.1

6.4

5.5

5.5

6.2

7.0

7.6

2016

8.5

9.2

9.7

9.4

9.6

9.2

8.8

8.6

9.4

9.7

10.1

10.5

2017

10.5

8.7

6.5

5.5

7.0

7.3

6.6

5.2

5.2

6.0

5.3

4.6

2018

3.8

4.5

5.7

6.3

7.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In May 2018, the unemployment rate in BC is 4.9% and 6.6% in Alberta.

— : suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act


Labour Force

BC Highlights

The unemployment rate in British Columbia was 4.8% in May, down from 5.0% in April and below the 5.6% from 12 months ago. Both the labour force (‑19,200) and the number of employed (‑12,400) contracted since April. Compared to 12 months ago, employment has increased (+3,500) and the labour force declined (‑17,600).

There were 16,000 fewer full-time jobs in May, while 3,600 part-time jobs were added since April. Most of the losses in full-time jobs were observed for the 25 to 54 (‑11,700) and 55 and over (‑5,400) age groups, while those aged 15 to 24 added full-time positions (+1,300). Part-time employment went up for the 55 and over (+5,300) and the 15 to 24 (+2,800) age groups, while there were fewer part-time jobs (‑4,600) for those aged 25 to 54 .

In May, employment in the private sector was up (+3,400), while there were less employees in the public sector (‑1,500). The number of self-employed individuals fell (‑14,300) compared to April.

Provincial Comparisons

At 4.8%, British Columbia’s unemployment rate was the lowest in Canada during the month of May. Quebec had the second lowest unemployment rate (5.3%), followed by Ontario (5.7%) and Alberta (6.2%).

Gender

In May, employment in British Columbia for men (aged 25 years and over) declined by 8,900 jobs, while the labour force shrank by 7,200. As a result, the unemployment rate was 4.7%, up from 4.5% for the previous month.

For women (aged 25 years and over), employment decreased by 7,500 jobs in May. The labour force decreased by 11,900, which resulted in the unemployment rate dropping to 3.9% from 4.3% the previous month.

Compared to May 2017, the unemployment rate for men was down by 0.9 percentage points to 4.7%, and for women it was down 0.2 percentage points to 3.9%. Jobs for men increased by 17,000 (+1.6%) compared to a year ago, and employment for women shrank by 1,100 (‑0.1%).

Youth Aged 15 to 24 Years

The unemployment rate for youth aged 15 to 24 years was 7.6% in May, down 1.1 percentage points from the previous month. Total employment increased by 4,100, while 100 individuals left the labour force. There were employment gains for both full-time (+1,300) and part-time (+2,800) positions.

Compared to May 2017, the unemployment rate for youth was down 1.9 percentage points to 7.6%.

Industry

Employment in the goods-producing sector was down (‑8,000 or ‑1.6%) in May. Most of the losses were felt by the construction (‑5,400 or ‑2.2%) industry, while agriculture (‑800 or ‑3.2%), forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas (‑700 or ‑1.4%), manufacturing (‑700 or ‑0.4%), and utilities (‑400 or ‑2.9%) all saw decreases. In the twelve months to May, the goods-producing sector added 10,400 (+2.1%) jobs.

In May, overall employment was down for the services-producing sector (‑4,300 or ‑0.2%) compared to the previous month. Within industries, professional, scientific and technical services (‑4,400 or ‑2.1%) posted the largest decrease, followed by business, building and other support services (‑3,900 or ‑3.9%), health care and social assistance (‑3,800 or ‑1.2%), and other services (‑3,700 or ‑3.1%). Conversely, accommodation and food services (+8,000 or +4.4%) added positions, while employment for information, culture and recreation (+3,300 or +2.7%) and educational services (+2,000 or +1.2%) increased as well. Since May 2017, the services-producing sector has lost 6,900 (‑0.3%) positions.

Visit the Labour Market Statistics page for detailed data tables and other resources.

BC Stats Infoline

Employment Insurance

The number of British Columbians receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits dropped 3.2% (seasonally adjusted) in April, to 42,100. Nationally, EI beneficiaries inched down 3.4%, to 453,060. The number of recipients was down in most provinces across the country. New Brunswick (-5.1%) and Alberta (-5.1%) saw the most substantial declines.

Data Source: Statistics Canada

BC Stats Infoline

April 2018

In April, 453,100 people received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, down 15,900 (-3.4%) from March, continuing the downward trend that began in the fall of 2016. The number of EI beneficiaries in April was at its lowest level since comparable data became available in 1997.

There were fewer beneficiaries in every province, notably in Alberta (-5.1%) and New Brunswick (-5.1%). Declines in the other provinces ranged from 3.7% in Quebec to 1.3% in Newfoundland and Labrador. The provincial declines in the number of beneficiaries follow real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in every province in 2017 for the first time since 2011.

In the 12 months to April, the number of EI recipients in Canada fell by 100,200 (-18.1%). Over the same period, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) showed the unemployment rate trending down to 5.8% in April.

In general, variations in the number of beneficiaries can reflect changes in the circumstances in a number of different groups, including those becoming beneficiaries, those going back to work, those exhausting their regular benefits, and those no longer receiving benefits for other reasons.

Provincial overview

In Alberta, 56,300 people received benefits in April, down 3,000 (-5.1%) from March. In the 12 months to April, the number of EI recipients in the province fell by 28.7%, the sharpest decrease among the provinces. The number of beneficiaries in Alberta has followed a downward trend that began in the fall of 2016. Coinciding with the declining trend in the number of beneficiaries, the province recorded real GDP growth of 4.9% in 2017, following declines of 3.9% in 2015 and 3.6% in 2016.

In New Brunswick, 27,800 people received regular benefits in April, down 5.1% from March. This was the largest of five consecutive monthly declines. Compared with April 2017, the number of EI recipients in the province fell by 16.1%.

In April, there were 104,100 EI recipients in Quebec, down 3.7% from the previous month. The number of beneficiaries in the province has trended down sharply, especially since the summer of 2017. The unemployment rate has also been on a downward trend and reached 5.4% in April, as reported by the LFS. In the 12 months to April, the number of recipients in the province fell by 24.3%.

The number of people receiving EI benefits in Prince Edward Island declined by 3.5% to 7,800, with the decrease widespread throughout the province. On a year-over-year basis, the number of recipients fell by 4.3%.

In British Columbia, 42,100 people received regular benefits in April, down 3.2% from March. This extends a downward trend that began in the fall of 2016. In the 12 months to April, the number of EI recipients declined by 21.9% in the province, the 12th consecutive month of year-over-year declines and the fastest since November 2011.

EI beneficiaries in Ontario totalled 115,800 in April, down 3.0% from the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, the number of beneficiaries in the province fell by 21,600 (-15.7%).

The number of EI recipients in Nova Scotia fell by 2.9% in April to 26,500, with the decrease widespread across the province. Compared with April 2017, the number of beneficiaries in Nova Scotia was down by 7.2%.

There were 17,300 EI beneficiaries in Saskatchewan in April, down 2.1% from March. The number of people receiving benefits has trended down since December 2016. In April, fewer recipients were reported in the CMAs of Regina (-5.7%) and Saskatoon (-2.1%). At the same time, fewer people in the province's CAs (-4.2%) received benefits. In the 12 months to April, the number of EI beneficiaries in Saskatchewan declined by 10.0%.

In Manitoba, 15,200 people received benefits in April, down 1.6% from the previous month. The CMA of Winnipeg reported a 1.7% decline, and there were also fewer recipients outside the CMAs and CAs (-1.4%). In the 12 months to April, the number of beneficiaries decreased by 3.0% in the province, in large part the result of declines in March and April.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, 37,300 people received EI benefits in April, down slightly (-1.3%) from March. Declines were observed outside CMAs and CAs (-1.7%). Compared with April 2017, the number of beneficiaries in the province fell by 3.5%, the first notable year-over-year decline since the summer of 2017.

Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation

The number of beneficiaries fell on a year-over-year basis in all 10 broad occupation groups. The largest declines in April were among those whose last job was in natural and applied sciences (-24.4%); trades, transport and equipment operators (-20.1%); manufacturing and utilities (-19.9%); and natural resources (-19.8%). In the 12 months to April, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and Alberta posted year-over-year declines in all broad occupation groups.

Employment Insurance beneficiaries in major demographic groups

Compared with March, there were fewer EI recipients among men (-3.9%) and women (-2.6%) in every major age group in April. Declines were largest for young women (-6.3%) and young men (-5.0%) aged 15 to 24.
In the 12 months to April, the number of beneficiaries declined in every major demographic group, led by young men (-26.8%) and men aged 25 to 54 (-22.0%). Declines were faster for men than for women across all major age groups.

Employment Insurance claims

The number of claims totalled 227,100 in April, little changed from March. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries.

In April, claims fell in Quebec (-4.4%), Nova Scotia (-2.2%), Ontario (-1.6%) and British Columbia (-1.3%). In contrast, there were increases in Saskatchewan (+12.6%), Newfoundland and Labrador (+9.9%) and Alberta (+9.4%). There was little change in Prince Edward Island, Manitoba and New Brunswick.

In the 12 months to April, claims decreased by 6.0% nationally.

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/180621/dq180621b-eng.htm?CMP=mstatcan

Labour Force Survey

May 2018

Employment was little changed in May, and the unemployment rate was 5.8% for the fourth consecutive month.

On a year-over-year basis, employment grew by 238,000 or 1.3%, due to gains in full-time work. Over the same period, total hours worked were up 2.0%.

Highlights

In May, employment decreased for people in the core working ages of 25 to 54. It increased for people aged 55 and older, and was little changed among youth aged 15 to 24.

Employment increased in Prince Edward Island, while it decreased in British Columbia and Nova Scotia. There was little change in the other provinces.

There were employment increases in four industries in May: accommodation and food services; professional, scientific and technical services; transportation and warehousing; and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing. At the same time, employment declined in health care and social assistance, manufacturing, construction, and "other services."

There was little change in the number of employees in both the private and public sectors, as well as the number of self-employed workers.

Employment decreases for core age population

For people in the core working ages of 25 to 54, employment fell among both men (-19,000) and women (-19,000). The unemployment rate for men in this age group held steady at 5.0%, while it increased by 0.2 percentage points to 4.9% for women. In the 12 months to May, employment among core-aged men grew by 33,000 (+0.5%), the slowest year-over-year growth for this group since November 2016. Employment increased by 40,000 (+0.7%) for core-aged women on a year-over-year basis.

Among people aged 55 and older, employment increased by 29,000 in May, bringing year-over-year gains to 173,000 (+4.5%). The unemployment rate for this age group fell 0.2 percentage points in the month to 5.1%.

Employment was little changed among youth aged 15 to 24 on both a monthly and year-over-year basis. The unemployment rate for this age group held steady at 11.1% in May.

Employment little changed in most provinces

Employment in Prince Edward Island increased by 800 in May, while the unemployment rate fell by 1.9 percentage points to 9.3%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was little changed.

In British Columbia, employment fell by 12,000 in the month. For the first time since May 2015, employment in British Columbia recorded virtually no growth on a year-over-year basis. The unemployment rate was little changed compared with the previous month, at 4.8% in May.

The number of workers in Nova Scotia was down by 3,600 in May, and the unemployment rate increased by 0.5 percentage points to 7.2%. On a year-over-year basis, employment was little changed.

Employment in Quebec was little changed in May, as a decrease in full-time work was offset by more people working part time. The unemployment rate was little changed at 5.3%. In the 12 months to May, employment in the province increased by 65,000 (+1.6%).

In Ontario, there was virtually no change in the number of people working in May, and the unemployment rate was 5.7%. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province was up by 126,000 (+1.8%).

Industry perspective

In accommodation and food services, employment rose by 18,000 in May, driven by growth in British Columbia. Employment gains in April and May accounted for more than half of the year-over-year increase (+56,000 or +4.7%) in this industry.

Employment in professional, scientific and technical services rose by 17,000 in May, entirely due to gains in Ontario. On a year-over-year basis, employment in this industry was up by 31,000 (+2.1%).

There were 12,000 more people working in transportation and warehousing in May, bringing the year-over-year increase to 42,000 (+4.5%).

Employment in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing rose by 12,000, almost entirely in Quebec. Despite this increase in the month, the number of people working in this industry was similar to that observed 12 months earlier.

There were 24,000 fewer people working in health care and social assistance in the month, while employment was little changed on a year-over-year basis.

Manufacturing employment was down by 18,000 in May, and was virtually unchanged compared with 12 months earlier. Employment in this industry reached a five-year peak in December 2017, and has been trending downward in 2018.

Employment in construction fell for the second consecutive month, decreasing by 13,000 in May. Employment was little changed from 12 months earlier, with recent declines offsetting gains observed in late 2017.

Employment in "other services" fell by 12,000 (-1.5%) in May and was little changed on a year-over-year basis. "Other services" includes services related to civic and professional organizations, and private households.

There was little change in the number of employees and the self-employed in May. On a year-over-year basis, there were increases in the number of public sector (+84,000 or +2.3%) and private sector (+105,000 or +0.9%) employees, while the number of self-employed was little changed.

Summer employment for students

From May to August, the Labour Force Survey collects labour market data on youths aged 15 to 24 who were attending school full time in March and who intend to return to school full time in the fall. The May survey results provide the first indicators of the summer job market, especially for students aged 20 to 24, as many younger students are still in school. Data for June, July and August will provide further insight into the summer job market. Published data are not seasonally adjusted, therefore comparisons can only be made with data for the same month in previous years.

Compared with 12 months earlier, employment among 20- to 24-year-old students was virtually unchanged in May. The employment rate (57.0%) and unemployment rate (13.6%) for this group of students were also little changed compared with May 2017.

In May, there were 33,000 (-7.3%) fewer 17- to 19-year-old students employed compared with May 2017, entirely due to a decrease in part-time work. As there was a similar decrease in the population of students in this age group, there was little change to their employment rate at 49.9%. The unemployment rate for this younger group of students was also little changed at 14.6%.

Canada–US comparison

Adjusted to the concepts used in the United States, the unemployment rate in Canada was 4.8% in May, compared with 3.8% in the United States. In the 12 months to May 2018, the unemployment rate fell by 0.8 percentage points in Canada and by 0.5 percentage points in the United States.

The labour force participation rate in Canada (adjusted to US concepts) was 65.1% in May compared with 62.7% in the United States. On a year-over-year basis, the participation rate decreased by 0.6 percentage points in Canada, while it held steady in the United States.

The US-adjusted employment rate in Canada stood at 62.0% in May compared with 60.4% in the United States. On a year-over-year basis, the employment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage points in Canada and increased by 0.4 percentage points in the United States.

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

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/180608/dq180608a-eng.htm?CMP=mstatcan

Payroll Employment, Earnings & Hours

Average weekly earnings of payroll employees in British Columbia (seasonally adjusted, current dollars) went up in March, increasing by $3.64 (+0.4%) to reach $962.44.

Compared to March 2017, average weekly earnings in British Columbia increased by 2.9%, ranking third among provinces. Growth was spread across most sectors, with the largest gains recorded in real estate and rental and leasing (+19.5%), management of companies and enterprises (+15.6), and utilities (+9.9%).

Nationally, average weekly earnings remained virtually unchanged compared to the previous month. Forestry, logging and support (+4.9%), accommodation and food services (+1.9%), and construction (+1.8%) saw the largest increases for the month. Compared to March 2017, earnings increased by 3.1% to reach $997.34.

Earnings across the country ranged from a high of $1,410.47 in the Northwest Territories to a low of $840.36 in Prince Edward Island. Alberta had the highest average weekly earnings among provinces in March, at $1,148.99. All provinces saw increases in average weekly earnings compared to a year ago, with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador (-0.2%) and Saskatchewan (-0.1%).

Note that average weekly earnings change due to a number of factors including wage growth, changes in occupation or job experience, changes in the average work week, and changes in the number of people employed in different industries.

Source: Statistics Canada

BC Stats Infoline

April 2018

The average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $995 in April, virtually unchanged compared with the previous month. In the 12 months to April, earnings were up 2.5%. After rising rapidly from August to December 2017, earnings have been relatively stable since the start of 2018.

In general, changes in weekly earnings reflect a number of factors, including wage growth; changes in the composition of employment by industry, occupation and level of job experience; and average hours worked per week.
Non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 32.7 hours per week in April, down from 33.0 hours in March, and little changed in comparison with April 2017.

Average weekly earnings by sector

In the 12 months to April 2018, average weekly earnings increased in 6 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by retail trade. Decreases were observed in administrative and support services, and manufacturing. At the same time, earnings were little changed in educational services, and health care and social assistance.

In April, average weekly earnings in retail trade were up 8.1% to $604, the largest year-over-year growth rate since February 2003. Ontario and Quebec recorded the fastest growth among the provinces. Most of the rise was due to gains from September 2017 to March 2018. In the 12 months to April, nearly half of the increase in the sector was attributable to motor vehicle and parts dealers, and general merchandise stores.

For payroll employees in wholesale trade, earnings rose 5.3% to an average of $1,272 per week. The gains were spread across most provinces, and notable increases were observed in Quebec, Alberta and Nova Scotia. Wholesalers of machinery, equipment and supplies accounted for the majority of earnings growth in the sector.

Average earnings in accommodation and food services grew 4.5% to $397 per week, with Ontario, Quebec and Alberta accounting for virtually all of the increase. The bulk of the gains were attributable to full-service restaurants and limited service eating places as well as traveller accommodation. Average weekly earnings in the sector have been trending upward since March 2017.

Average weekly earnings in public administration increased 4.5% to $1,307 in April. The growth was spread across a majority of subsectors, with local, municipal, and regional public administration contributing the most to the rise. Earnings in public administration have been on an upward trend since April 2017. Among the provinces, there were notable gains in Quebec and Ontario.

In April, the average weekly earnings of payroll employees in professional, scientific and technical services were up 3.6% to $1,356. Earning were up in most industries, but the rise was mainly due to employment growth in the high-paying computer systems design and related services industry. Ontario and Quebec were the largest contributors to the earnings increase in the sector.

Average weekly earnings in construction rose 2.0% to $1,231 in April due to the strong upward trend from the third quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2018. The growth in earnings was driven by specialty trade contractors and, to a lesser extent, by the construction of buildings. The notable contributions of Ontario and Quebec were moderated by a decline in Newfoundland and Labrador. Average weekly earnings in Newfoundland and Labrador's construction sector have been trending down since June 2017. This also coincides with a decline in payroll employment and the completion of major construction projects in the province.

Earnings fell 5.1% to an average of $772 per week in administrative and support services, largely due to declines in Quebec and British Columbia. Part of the decline in Quebec was due to earnings being at a high point in April 2017. The overall decrease in the sector was almost entirely driven by office administrative services and employment services.

In April, average weekly earnings in manufacturing decreased 2.8% to $1,074. The decline was attributable to decreases in several subsectors, led by petroleum and coal product manufacturing, and primary metal manufacturing. The decline in petroleum and coal product manufacturing was partly attributable to earnings being at a relatively high point in April 2017. Notable gains in chemical manufacturing and non-metallic mineral product manufacturing moderated the earnings decline in the sector. Average weekly earnings fell in most provinces, with Ontario and Alberta contributing the most to the decrease.

Average weekly earnings by province

In the 12 months to April, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in seven provinces, led by Quebec and Prince Edward Island. At the same time, earnings were little changed in Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Average weekly earnings in Quebec rose 3.7% to $928 in April. The gains were spread across a majority of sectors in the province. Public administration; professional, scientific and technical services; and retail trade contributed the most to the rise. Since November 2017, Quebec has recorded the fastest year-over-year earnings growth among the provinces. According to the Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate reached a record low in December 2017 and has remained at a similar level since.

Payroll employees in Prince Edward Island earned an average of $848 per week in April, up 3.7%. The gain was mainly due to increases observed during the fall of 2017. Manufacturing, and health care and social assistance were the most important contributors to the earnings growth in the province.

Among payroll employees in New Brunswick, average weekly earnings rose 3.2% to $907. Earning were up in many sectors, with public administration, health care and social assistance, and transportation and warehousing contributing the most to the increase.

Average weekly earnings in Ontario increased 2.7% to $1,013 per week, driven by growth in professional, scientific and technical services; public administration; and retail trade. Earnings in the province have been relatively flat since December 2017.

In April, earnings grew 2.4% to an average of $1,153 per week in Alberta. The largest contributor to the earning gains in the province was the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector. Both earnings and employment were up in this sector, which has the highest average weekly earnings in the province.

For payroll employees in British Columbia, earnings rose 1.6% to an average of $952 per week. Average weekly earnings were boosted by gains in several sectors, led by retail trade. The increase in the province was partially offset by a notable decline in administrative and support services.

Average weekly earnings in Manitoba grew 1.6% to $938 in April, continuing an upward trend that began in the summer of 2017. Manufacturing, real estate and rental and leasing, and public administration contributed the most to the increase. The growth in earnings in the province was moderated by an employment decline in the high-paying finance and insurance sector.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

The number of non-farm payroll employees was little changed from March to April. The largest increases were in health care and social assistance, manufacturing, and accommodation and food services. At the same time, the number of employees declined notably in retail trade and construction.

In the 12 months to April, the number of payroll jobs rose by 384,600 (+2.4%). Growth was widespread across the sectors, and the largest increase was recorded in health care and social assistance (+52,700 or +2.8%). Ambulatory health care services and social assistance accounted for nearly all of the rise in this sector.

There was also a notable increase in manufacturing (+51,900 or +3.5%), driven by food and transportation equipment manufacturing.

For professional, scientific, and technical services, where payroll employment increased by 42,300 (+4.8%), the majority of the growth was due to computer systems design and related services. The increase in this industry continues a long-term upward trend that began in the spring of 2012.

The number of employees also rose notably in educational services (+37,300 or +2.9%) and public administration (+36,800 or +3.4%). Meanwhile, employment fell in information and cultural industries (-7,000 or -2.0%), mainly due to declines in telecommunications and publishing.

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/180628/dq180628a-eng.htm