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Labour Force Survey
Last Updated: November 17, 2014

 LATEST OBSERVATIONS

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

In Nova Scotia October 2014 (seasonally-adjusted, month-over-month and year-over-year):
 
Labour force increased 0.9% (+4,300) over September 2014 at
492,700 and decreased 1.0% (-5,200) over October 2013.
Employment increased 0.9% (+4,100) over September 2014 to 450,400 and decreased 0.4% (-1,900) over October 2013.
Unemployment increased 0.7% (+300) over September 2014 to 42,400 and decreased 7.2% (-3,300) over October 2013.
Unemployment rate remained unchanged  over September 2014 at 8.6%.
 
 
In Canada October 2014 (seasonally-adjusted, month-over-month and year-over-year):
 
Labour force remained virtually unchanged (+4,200) over September 2014 to 19.2 million and increased 0.6% (+109,100) over October 2013.
Employment increased 0.2% (+43,100)  over September 2014 to 18.0 million and increased 1.0% (+181,800) over October 2013.
Unemployment decreased 3.0% (-38,900)  over September 2014 to 1.3 million and decreased 5.5% (-72,600) over October 2013.
Unemployment rate decreased 0.3 percentage points over September 2014 to 6.5%.
 
 
In Halifax October 2014 (3 month moving average, seasonally adjusted):
 
Labour force increased 0.9% (+2,200) over September 2014 to 243,600 and decreased 0.4% (-1,000) over October 2013.
Employment increased 1.0% (+2,200) over September 2014 to 229,000 and increased by 0.1% (+200) over October 2013.
Unemployment remained virtually unchanged  (+0) over September 2014 to 14,600 and decreased 7.0% (-1,100) over October 2013.
Unemployment rate  remained unchanged over September 2014 at 6.0%.
 
 
 
(seasonally-adjusted, month-over-month and year-over-year)
Source: CANSIM Table 282-0001
 
TRENDS
 

Nova Scotia's seasonally adjusted employment increased by 4,100 to 450,400 in October 2014. This follows a  loss of 700 jobs in September, after a gain of 3,900 jobs in August.  Employment has only reported gains for four months (see chart below) since the latter part of 2013.

Compared to September, the labour force has increased by 4,300 to 492,700 going against the trend of mostly declining labour force since the beginning of 2013.

With labour supply increasing at a slightly faster pace than the labour demand, the net result was no change in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 8.6 percent in October. With an increasing labour supply, the participation rate increased by 0.6 percentage point to 63.1 per cent.  With labour demand also increasing, the employment rate climbed by 0.5 percentage points to  57.7 per cent.

In October, full-time employment had a gain of 3,200 jobs along with a gain of 900 part  time jobs. Since the start of 2013, there has been only five months (three months in 2013 and two months in 2014) where both types of employment had positive gains together. The recent trend has been offsetting hours of work between the two types of employment. Often these offsetting trends are attributable to a back and forth changes in hours offered by employers which has occurred between the two types of employment since the recession. 

  

Compared with October 2013, the labour force has decreased by 5,200 (-1.0 per cent) while employment had a decline of 1,900 jobs (-0.4 per cent).   With labour supply declining at a faster pace than labour demand, the net result was a 0.6 percentage point decline 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 ten months of 2014 compared to the first ten months of 2013, there was a decline of 7,200 jobs (1.6 per cent) in the average employment level. Average full time employment was down 4,600 while there were 2,600 fewer part time workers.  The labour force decreased by 1.8 per cent or 8,900 for the first ten  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 0.2 percentage points to 8.9 per cent. The labour force participation rate dropped 1.1 percentage points to 62.9 per cent.  The employment rate fell by 0.9 percentage points to 57.3 per cent. 

Through the first ten months of the year, employment declines were concentrated in self-employment (-5,800 or -8.9 per cent) as well as private sector employment (-2,500 or -0.1 per cent).  These exceeded the 1.0 per cent gain (+1.1) in public sector employment. On a month over month comparison there was growth in the self-employment and public sector while private sector had a decline.

 

 

Sectors

Comparing the first ten months of 2014 to the same period in 2013, employment in goods-producing sectors had a decrease of 7,400 jobs. There were declines in all goods producing sectors.  There was a net gain in employment of 100 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 300 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 ten months of 2014 compared to the first ten months of 2013.   Over the same period, labour force dropped in all 5 regions.  Unemployment rates were down in 2 economic regions (North Shore and HRM), with increases in the Valley, South Shore region and Cape Breton. 

The Cape Breton region reported a decrease in employment of 2,600 for the first ten months of 2014 over the same period in 2013. The labour force dropped by 2,800 resulting in a 0.1 percentage increase  in the unemployment rate to 14.8  per cent.

For the North Shore region, employment decreased 1,500 for the first ten months of 2014. Labour supply fell by 2,200 for the same period.  The larger fall in labour supply caused a 0.5 percentage point decrease in the unemployment rate to 10.8 per cent.

The Annapolis region experienced a drop of 900 in  employment while the  labour force had a fall of 1,00 for the first ten months of 2014.  The net result was a 0.1 percentage point increase in the average unemployment rate to 9.4 per cent.

The Southern region saw employment drop by 2,100 and the labour force to fall by 1,900 for the first ten 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 12.5 per cent.

Halifax (HRM) experienced no change in employment with a decline of 900 for the labour supply for the first ten months of 2014.  With more people leaving the labour market coupled with no change 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 October this year compared to the same time period in 2013. Leading the country at 3.1 per cent growth is Alberta, followed by Ontario and BC at 0.7 per cent. Year to date in October 2014, four provinces showed declines (Newfoundland and Labrador at -2.3 per cent, Nova Scotia at -1.6 per cent, and PEI and Manitoba at -0.2 per cent).  
 
 

Comparing unemployment rates this month to those a year ago, Nova Scotia showed a decline to 8.6 per cent in October 2014. Eight provinces showed declines in the Unemployment Rate in August, the largest decline in PEI, which fell to 9.2 per cent from 10.7 per cent a year earlier. 

 

National Comparisons: Cities

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the Halifax Census Metropolitan Area was 6.0 per cent. Regina (3.0%) had the lowest unemployment rate in Canada this month.

The seasonally adjusted employment  rate for the Halifax Census Metropolitan Area climbed to 65.1 per cent in October 2014. 

Employment in the Halifax CMA was up 1.0 per cent from September to October this year. The largest gains from month to month in CMAs was in Abbotsford/Mission, at +1.8 per cent monthly growth. 

 

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: Thomas.Storring@novascotia.ca


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