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Labour Force Survey
Last Updated: April 04, 2014

 LATEST OBSERVATIONS

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

In Nova Scotia March 2014 (seasonally-adjusted, month-over-month and year-over-year):
 
Labour force decreased 0.4% (-1,900) over February 2014 to 492,900 and decreased 2.2% (-11,100) over March 2013.
Employment decreased 0.8% (-3,400) over February 2014 to 447,300 and decreased 2.0% (-9,100) over March 2013.
Unemployment increased 3.4% (+1,500) over February 2014 to 45,600 and decreased 4.2% (-2,000) over March 2013.
Unemployment rate increased 0.4 percentage points over February 2014 to 9.3%.
 
 
In Canada March 2014 (seasonally-adjusted, month-over-month and year-over-year):
 
Labour force increased 0.1% (+25,200) over February 2014 to 19.2 million and increased 0.7% (+136,000) over March 2013.
Employment increased 0.2% (+42,900)  over February 2014 to 17.8 million and increased 1.1% (+190,000) over March 2013.
Unemployment decreased 1.3% (-17,700)  over February 2014 to 1.3 million and decreased 3.9% (-54,000) over March 2013.
Unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage points over February 2014 at 6.9%.
 
 
In Halifax March 2014 (3 month moving average, unadjusted):
 
Labour force decreased 0.8% (-1,900) over February 2014 to 238,200 and decreased 0.2% (-500) over March 2013.
Employment decreased 0.8% (-1,900) over February 2014 to 222,400 and decreased by 0.2% (-400) over March 2013.
Unemployment decreased 0.6%  (-100) over February 2014 to 15,800 and decreased 0.6% (-100) over March 2013.
Unemployment rate remained unchanged over February 2014 at 6.6%.
 
 
(seasonally-adjusted, month-over-month and year-over-year)
Source: CANSIM Table 282-0001
 
TRENDS
 

After a net gain of 2,900 jobs in February, seasonally adjusted employment declined 3,400 jobs in March. Before February, employment had five months of consecutive declines.

 

Source Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey

The entire decline was from full-time employment with a drop 3,800 jobs. Part- time employment was up by 400 jobs. This decline in full-time employment partially offset by part-time gains continues the pattern of shifting work hours that has occurred between the two types of employment over the last year.

Employment has remained below the peak level before the recession since the fall of 2013.   Longer-term employment results have largely followed changes in the labour force, keeping the employment rate steady.  However, in recent results, the employment rate has started to slip.

 

 

Compared to February, the labour force has decreased by 1,900 (1.0 per cent) to 492,900. With employment decreasing at a faster pace than labour supply, the net result was a 0.4 percentage point increase in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to 9.3 percent in March over February. With more workers leaving the labour force compared to February the participation rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 63.1 per cent.

Compared with March 2013, the labour force has decreased by 11,100 (-2.2 per cent) while employment had a decline of 9,100 jobs (-2.0 per cent).  With the labour  force declining at faster pace than labour demand, the net result was a decline of 0.1 percentage point in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to 9.3 per cent.

 

Year-to-date

For the first quarter of 2014 over the first quarter months of 2013, there was a decline of 5,300 jobs in the average employment level. This reflects a decrease of 5,100 for full time employment coupled with a decline of 100 for part time employment.

 

The labour force decreased by 1.8 per cent or 8,800 in the first quarter. With labour supply falling at a faster rate than labour demand (employment), the net result was a drop in the average unemployment rate by 0.6 percentage points to 8.9 per cent. The labour force participation rate dropped 1.2 percentage points to 63.0 per cent.  The employment rate fell by 0.7 percentage points to 57.4 per cent.

 

Sectors

In the latest month’s results, employment declines are concentrated in health care, education and public administration while job losses in goods (mostly construction) were offset by gains in private service industries.  However, this is not an established trend in sectoral employment.

 

Comparing the first quarter of 2014 to the same period in 2013, employment in goods-producing sectors had  an increase of 700 jobs. This reflects a strong gain in manufacturing while other sectors had slight declines.   There was a net loss in employment of 6,000 in service-producing sectors. There were substantial declines in the professional, scientific and technical services, transportation and warehousing business/support services and trade (retail and wholesale).  Declining service sector employment was offset by with gains in information/culture/recreation, education and health services.

Source Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey

Regions (three month moving average unadjusted)

Employment increased in 2 of 5 economic regions comparing the first two months of 2014 to the first two months of 2013.   Over the same period, labour force grew in 1 of 5 regions. Unemployment rates were down in each economic region except for Halifax (HRM) and the South Shore.

The Cape Breton region reported an increase employment of 200 for the first quarter of 2014 over the same period in 2013. The labour force dropped by 1,100 resulting in a decline of 1.9 percentage points in the unemployment rate to 15.6 per cent.

For the North Shore region, employment decreased 1,700 for the first quarter of 2014. Labour supply fell by 3,800 for the same period.  The larger fall in labour supply caused a 2.1 percentage point decrease in the unemployment rate to 10.5 per cent.

The Annapolis region experienced a drop 400 in employment for the first quarter of 2014.  With a decline of 1,000 in the labour supply, the net result was a 0.8 percentage point drop in the average unemployment rate to10.0 per cent

The Southern region saw employment drop by 2,700 and the labour force to fall by 3,000 for the first quarter of 2014. With the labour supply falling at a faster pace, the end result was a increase in the unemployment rate of 0.3 percentage points to 12.8 per cent.

Halifax (HRM) experienced an increase of 700 in employment with an increase of 1,400 for labour supply for the first quarter of 2014.  With labour supply increasing at a  faster pace than labour demand, the net impact was an increase of 0.2 percentage points in the unemployment rate to 6.6 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

While Canada's unemployment was at 6.9 per cent in March 2014. Nova Scotia’s unemployment rate rose to 9.3  per cent. The unemployment rate is lowest in Saskatchewan (4.5%).

 

National Comparisons: Cities

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the Halifax Census Metropolitan Area was 6.4 per cent. Regina  (3.7%) had the lowest unemployment rate in Canada this month.

The seasonally adjusted employment  rate for the Halifax Census Metropolitan Area sat at 64.9 per cent in March.

Employment growth in the Halifax CMA was down 0.4 per cent from February to March. The largest gains from month to month in CMAs was in Moncton (+2.1%). 

 

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: milloymz@gov.ns.ca