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Labour Force Survey
Last Updated: October 10, 2014

 LATEST OBSERVATIONS

(seasonally-adjusted, month-over-month and year-over-year)

In Nova Scotia September 2014 (seasonally-adjusted, month-over-month and year-over-year):
 
Labour force decreased 0.4% (-1,900) over August 2014 at 488,400 and decreased 1.9% (-9,700) over September 2013.
Employment decreased 0.2% (-700) over August 2014 to 446,300 and decreased 1.9% (-8,700) over September 2013.
Unemployment decreased 2.8% (-1,200) over August 2014 to 42,100 and decreased 2.3% (-1,000) over September 2013.
Unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points over August 2014 to 8.6%.
 
 
In Canada September 2014 (seasonally-adjusted, month-over-month and year-over-year):
 
Labour force increased 0.2% (+29,000) over August 2014 to 19.2 million and increased 0.6% (+122,600) over September 2013.
Employment increased 0.4% (+74,100)  over August 2014 to 17.9 million and increased 0.8% (+150,400) over September 2013.
Unemployment decreased 3.3% (-44,900)  over August 2014 to 1.3 million and decreased 2.1% (-27,700) over September 2013.
Unemployment rate decreased 0.2 percentage points over August 2014 to 6.8%.
 
 
In Halifax September 2014 (3 month moving average, seasonally adjusted):
 
Labour force increased 0.8% (+1,800) over August 2014 to 241,400 and decreased 0.7% (-1,600) over September 2013.
Employment increased 0.5% (+1,100) over August 2014 to 226,800 and decreased by 0.7% (-1,500) over September 2013.
Unemployment increased 5.0%  (+700) over August 2014 to 14,600 and decreased 0.7% (-100) over September 2013.
Unemployment rate increased 0.2 percentage points over August 2014 to 6.0%.
 
 
 
(seasonally-adjusted, month-over-month and year-over-year)
Source: CANSIM Table 282-0001
 
TRENDS
 

Nova Scotia's seasonally adjusted employment decreased by 700 to 446,300 in September 2014. This follows a gain of 3,900 jobs in August, after a loss of 3,900 jobs in July.  Employment has only reported gains for three months (see chart below) since the latter part of 2013.

Compared to August, the labour force has decreased by 1,900 to 488,400 following the trend of mostly declining labour force since the beginning of 2013.

With labour supply decreasing at a faster pace than the labour demand, the net result was a 0.2 percentage point decline in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to 8.6 percent in September. With a decreasing labour supply, the participation rate decreased by 0.3 percentage point to 62.5 per cent.  There was no change in employment rate to 57.2 per cent.

In September, part-time employment had a loss of 1,400 jobs over riding the gain of 600 full time jobs. This pattern returns to the recent trend of offsetting trends as hours of work were shifted between the two types of employment. Often these offsetting trends are attributable to the shift to full time work hours, a pattern which has occurred between the two types of employment since the recession. 

However, on average most of the NS employment decline reported through the first three quarters of 2014 has been among full time employment.

Employment has remained below the peak level before the recession since the fall of 2013.
 
 
 

Compared with September 2013, the labour force has decreased by 9,700 (-1.9 per cent) while employment had a decline of 8,700 jobs (-1.9 per cent).   With labour supply declining at a faster pace than labour demand, the net result was a 0.1 percentage point delince in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to 8.6 per cent.

Recent labour force results reflect the change in the composition of Nova Scotia’s population by age.  The size of the labour force appears to be following population changes for those aged 15-24 and 25-54. Employment levels also follow labour force (and therefore) population patterns in these age cohorts.  However, as the population ages from the 25-54 cohort into the 55+ cohort, there is growth in neither labour force nor employment, despite a rising population.  This is the demographic phenomenon that is expected to persist for coming years as the baby boom cohort reaches traditional retirement ages.

 

 

 

Year-to-date

For the first nine months of 2014 compared to the first nine months of 2013, there was a decline of 7,800 jobs (1.7 per cent) in the average employment level. Average full time employment was down 5,600 while there were2,100 fewer part time workers.  The labour force decreased by 1.9 per cent or 9,300 for the first nine months of 2014. With labour supply falling at a faster pace than labour demand (employment), the net result was a small drop in the average unemployment rate by 0.1 percentage points to 8.9 per cent. The labour force participation rate dropped 1.2 percentage points to 62.9 per cent.  The employment rate fell by 1.0 percentage points to 57.3 per cent. 

Through the first nine months of the year, employment declines were concentrated in self-employment (-6,100 or -9.4 per cent) as well as private sector employment (-3,100 or -1.1 per cent).  These exceeded the 1.3 per cent gain (+1.4) in public sector employment. On a month over month comparison there was strong growth in the private employment  while self and public sector had declines 

 

 

Sectors

Comparing the first nine months of 2014 to the same period in 2013, employment in goods-producing sectors had a decrease of 7,200 jobs. There were declines in all goods producing sectors.  There was a net loss in employment of 600 in service-producing sectors. There were declines in the professional, scientific and technical services, business/support services and trade (retail and wholesale). Public administration had a slight decline of 200 jobs. These declines were partially offset by gains in finance/insurance, information/culture/recreation, food and accommodation, education and health services. There was also a slight gain in transportation and warehousing.

Regions (three month moving average unadjusted)

There was no increase in employment among the province's five economic regions comparing the nine months of 2014 compared to the first nine months of 2013.   Over the same period, labour force dropped in all 5 regions.  Unemployment rates were down in 2 economic region (North Shore and HRM), with increases in the Valley, South Shore region. Cape Breton had no change. 

The Cape Breton region reported a decrease in employment of 2,500 for the first nine months of 2014 over the same period in 2013. The labour force dropped by 2,900 resulting in no change in the unemployment rate at 14.9  per cent.

For the North Shore region, employment decreased 1,300 for the first nine months of 2014. Labour supply fell by 1,900 for the same period.  The larger fall in labour supply caused a 0.5 percentage point decrease in the unemployment rate to 10.9 per cent

The Annapolis region experienced a drop of 1,100 in both employment and the labour force for the first nine months of 2014.  The net result was a 0.2 percentage point increase in the average unemployment rate to 9.6 per cent.

The Southern region saw employment drop by 2,300 and the labour force to fall by 2,100 for the first nine months of 2014. With the labour supply falling at a slightly slower pace, the end result was an increase in the unemployment rate of 0.8 percentage points to 12.6 per cent.

Halifax (HRM) experienced a decrease of 100 in employment with a decline of 900 for the labour supply for the first nine months of 2014.  With more people leaving the labour market coupled with a slight decline in employment, the net impact was 0.3 percentage point drop in the unemployment rate to 6.2 per cent.

 

Source Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey

The chart below shows unemployment rates and employment rates (3 month average) for all provinces and CMAs in Canada.     

Source: CANSIM Table 282-0054 and 282-0116

NOTE:  Labour force estimates at the sub-provincial level should always be viewed with caution, given they are a three-month moving averages and the error estimates associated with smaller sample sizes are large.

 

National Comparisons: Provinces

 
Employment across the country averaged 0.7 per cent growth from January to September this year compared to the same time period in 2013. Leading the country at 3.1 per cent growth is Alberta, followed by 1.5 per cent in Saskatchewan. In the year to date to September 2014, three provinces showed declines (Newfoundland and Labrador at -2.2 per cent, Nova Scotia at -1.7 per cent, and Manitoba at -0.5 per cent).  
 
 

Comparing unemployment rates this month to those a year ago, Nova Scotia showed a decline to 8.6 per cent in September 2014. Eight provinces showed declines in the Unemployment Rate in August, the largest decline in PEI, which fell to 9.5 per cent from 11.3 per cent a year earlier. 

 

National Comparisons: Cities

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the Halifax Census Metropolitan Area was 6.7 per cent. Winnipeg (2.8%) had the lowest unemployment rate in Canada this month.

The seasonally adjusted employment  rate for the Halifax Census Metropolitan Area dipped to 61.2 per cent in September 2014. 

Employment in the Halifax CMA was up 0.5 per cent from August to September this year. The largest gains from month to month in CMAs was in Barrie, Ontario, +2.5 per cent. 

 

CANSIM Data Sources (available without charge from Statistics Canada):

282-0001 (Basic Characteristics)

282-0054 (Economic Regions), 

282-0087 (Seasonally Adjusted),

282-0088 (by Industry)

282-0116 (Census Metropolitan Areas)

About the Labour Market Monthly provides a glossary of definitions, concepts/methods and sources associated with the labour market information covered in the Labour Market Monthly publication.

 

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The Economics and Statistics Division monitors Nova Scotia's macroeconomic environment - tracking the global conditions that influence how our economy performs and the results we see here in the Province. If you want to learn more, you can contact an expert member of our team at the phone number or email address below. These experts can help you find additional data and analysis to learn about Nova Scotia's economy.

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Thomas Storring
Director of Economics/Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410
Email: storrith@gov.ns.ca


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Mike Milloy
Planning and Development Officer
Tel: 902-424-8800
Email: Mike.Milloy@novascotia.ca