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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

October 06, 2017
LABOUR MARKET TRENDS - SEPTEMBER 2017

Nova Scotia's seasonally adjusted employment increased by 2,300 to 446,900 in September 2017.  This carries on the monthly employment change up-and-down pattern since the start of 2017. 

Compared to August, Nova Scotia’s labour force increased by 3,400 to 491,200 in September. With labour supply increasing at a faster pace than labour demand, the net result was a 0.1 percentage point increase in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to 9.0 per cent in September. With labour supply increasing along with the working age population (+400), the result was increase in the participation rate by 0.4 percentage points to 61.9 per cent in August. With an increase in the employment level (2,300), the employment rate increased by 0.3 percentage points to 56.3 per cent. 

In September, the increase in employment was entirely in full-time jobs (+4,800) while part-time employment dropped by 2,500.  This can include the effects of changing hours within the same job.

During the first nine months of 2017 compared to the first nine months of 2016, there was an increase of 3,200 (0.7 per cent) in the average employment level. Average full time employment was down 1,700 while there were 5,000 more part-time jobs. The labour force was up 2,900 for the first nine months of 2017. With labour demand increasing at a faster pace than the labour supply, the net result was a decline in the average unemployment rate by 0.1 percentage points to 8.4 per cent. The labour force participation rate increased by 0.1 percentage point to 61.9 per cent. The employment rate increased slightly to 56.7 per cent.

 

 

AGE COHORTS (January-September 2017 vs. January-September 2016)

The labour force survey population estimate of the 15-24-year age group declined by 1,400 comparing the first nine months of 2017 to the first nine months of 2016. This age group saw a decline of 700 in the labour force and of 1,700 in employment during this period as the number of unemployed increased by 1,100. The unemployment rate increased to 16.5 per cent on average over the first nine months of 2017, compared with 14.8 per cent during the same period in 2016. The larger decline in employment compared to the decline in population led to a 0.9 percentage point decline in the youth employment rate to 53.4 per cent.

For Nova Scotians aged 25 to 54, the labour force increased by 500 and employment increased 1,700 (comparing the first nine months of 2017 with the same period in 2016). With growth in labour demand outpacing the growth in labour supply, the net result was a 0.4 percentage points decline in the unemployment rate for core aged workers to 7.0 per cent. With a rising labour force and a falling population (-3,300), the labour force participation rate for Nova Scotians aged 25 to 54 increased 1.9 percentage points to 86.1 per cent.  The employment rate rose 1.2 percentage points to 80.1 per cent.

For those Nova Scotians aged 55 and over, the population, labour force and employment levels have all increased comparing the first nine months of 2017 to the first nine months of 2016.  Employment increased by 3,300 while labour force was up 3,200. Unemployment level is down by 100. As employment growth rates were slightly faster than labour force growth rates, the unemployment rate for older workers declined 0.3 percentage points to 7.1 per cent. The participation rate increased for this age group to 34.8 per cent and the employment rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 32.3 per cent. Over half of the year-to-date gains in part time work are in the 55 and over age cohort. This cohort has seen a recent upswing in part time employment, while full time employment has been stable or dropping slightly in recent month.

  

 SECTORS (January-September 2017 vs. January-September 2016)

Comparing the first nine months of 2017 to the first nine months of 2016, employment in goods-producing sectors increased by 300 jobs. Employment gains in agriculture, utilities and manufacturing were enough to offset a loss in construction, and forestry/fishing/mining/gas.

There was a net gain of 2,900 jobs in service-producing sectors. Strong employment gains in wholesale/retail trade, professional services, and public administration were enough to offset the job losses in financial services, educational services, health care, information and cultural industries, and transportation and warehousing.

 

Regions (3 month moving average, January-September 2017 vs. January-September 2016)

For the first nine months of 2017 compared to the first nine months of 2016, two  regions (North Shore, and the Annapolis Valley) reported employment growth that outpaced labour force growth, resulting in lower average unemployment rates.  The Cape Breton and the South Shore regions had falling labour supply and rising employment, pushing down their unemployment rates. The Halifax economic region was the only region to see its unemployment rate climb. This was due to falling employment combined with a slight increase in labour supply.

The Cape Breton region reported 300 job losses in average employment levels for the first nine months of 2017 over the first nine months of 2016. The labour force decreased by 1,200 (-2.1 per cent) for the same period. With a slight decline in labour demand along with a larger drop in labour supply, the result was a 1.4 percentage point decrease in the unemployment rate to 14.2 per cent.

For the North Shore region, employment increased 1,300 (2.0 per cent) for the first nine months of 2017 over the same period in 2016. Labour supply increased by 1,100 (1.4 per cent) for the same period. The relatively larger increase in labour demand resulted in a 0.5 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate to 9.1 per cent.

The Annapolis Valley reported an increase in employment of 2,700 (4.9 per cent) and an increase in the labour force of 2,400 for the first nine months of 2017 over the same period in 2016. The net result was decrease of 0.7 percentage points in the average unemployment rate to 7.8 per cent.

The Southern region saw a slight increase of 200 (0.5 per cent) in employment along with a small drop of 500 in the labour force for the first nine months of 2017 over the first nine months of 2016. With employment rising and labour force falling, the unemployment rate was down 1.2 percentage points to 10.1 per cent.

Comparing the first nine months of 2017 to the first nine months of 2016, Halifax (HRM) experienced a decrease in employment of 1,300 (-0.6 per cent) along with a slight increase in the labour supply (100). These adjustments resulted in 0.4 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate to 6.8 per cent. 

Provincial Comparisons

Employment increased 1.8 per cent in Canada comparing January-September 2017 with January-September 2016. Employment grew on a year-to-date basis in nine provinces with the largest gains in British Columbia (+3.7%), Prince Edward Island (+2.9%), and Quebec (+2.3%). Employment in Newfoundland and Labrador (-4.2%) declined over the first nine months of 2017 compared to the same time period in 2016. 


The Nova Scotia unemployment rate was 9.0 per cent in September 2017. In September of last year, the Nova Scotia unemployment rate was 8.1 per cent. Eight provinces have lower unemployment rates compared to the same month a year ago, with Prince Edward Island (-3.2 percentage points) having the steepest decline. The unemployment rate was higher in Newfoundland and Labrador (+2.3 percentage points) and Nova Scotia (+0.4 percentage points) compared to September 2016. The lowest unemployment rate among the provinces in August 2017 was in Manitoba at 5.5 per cent while the highest was in Newfoundland and Labrador at 15.1 per cent.

  

 

 National Comparisons: Cities

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the Halifax Census Metropolitan Area this month was 7.2 per cent. Quebec (4.0%) had the lowest unemployment rate for a CMA this month while the highest was in St John's (8.9%)

  

The seasonally adjusted employment rate for the Halifax Census Metropolitan Area was the same as last month (62.2 per cent) in Septmeber 2017. 

The three month average employment ending in August for the Halifax CMA was up 0.1 per cent compared to the three month period ending in August. The largest gain among CMAs was in Peterborough, Ontario where employment rose 2.0 per cent.

 

 

Note: Seasonally adjusted, 3 month average.

 



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