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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

November 03, 2017
LABOUR MARKET TRENDS - OCTOBER 2017

Nova Scotia's seasonally adjusted employment increased by 700 to 447,600 in October 2017.  This is the first back-to back monthly employment increase since the start of 2017. 

Compared to September, Nova Scotia’s labour force decreased by 1,000 to 490,200 in October. With a falling labour supply combined with a slight increase in labour demand, the net result was a 0.3 percentage point decline in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to 8.7 per cent in October. With a falling labour supply and only a slight increase in the working age population (+400), the result was a decrease in the participation rate by 0.2 percentage points to 61.9 per cent in October. There was no change in the employment rate at 56.3 per cent.

In October, the increase in employment was entirely in full-time jobs (+3,300) while part-time employment dropped by 2,600.  This can include the effects of changing hours within the same job.

During the first ten months of 2017 compared to the first ten months of 2016, there was an increase of 3,100 (0.7 per cent) in the average employment level. Average full time employment was down 1,200 while there were 4,400 more part-time jobs. The labour force was up 3,400 for the first ten months of 2017. With both labour demand and labour supply increasing at a similar pace, the net result was no change in the average unemployment rate at 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-October 2017 vs. January-October 2016)

The labour force survey population estimate of the 15-24-year age group declined by 1,300 comparing the first ten months of 2017 to the first ten months of 2016. This age group saw a decline of 300 in the labour force and of 1,500 in employment during this period as the number of unemployed increased by 1,200. The unemployment rate increased to 16.6 per cent on average over the first ten 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 0.7 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 400 and employment increased 1,400 (comparing the first ten 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 0.3 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 0.9 percentage points to 86.1 per cent.  The employment rate rose 1.1 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 ten months of 2017 to the first ten months of 2016.  Employment increased by 3,200 while labour force was up 3,300. Unemployment level is up by 100. As employment growth rates were slightly slower than labour force growth rates, the unemployment rate for older workers declined 0.1 percentage points to 7.2 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-October 2017 vs. January-October 2016)

Comparing the first ten months of 2017 to the first ten months of 2016, employment in goods-producing sectors increased by 100 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 3,000 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-October 2017 vs. January-October 2016)

For the first ten 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 had falling labour supply with only a slight drop in employment, pushing down their unemployment rate. The Southern Region had only slight adjustments with more leaving the labour force causing a drop in the unemployment rate.  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 ten months of 2017 over the first ten months of 2016. The labour force decreased by 1,100 (-1.9 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 1.1 percentage point decrease in the unemployment rate to 14.2 per cent.

For the North Shore region, employment increased 1,300 (1.9 per cent) for the first ten months of 2017 over the same period in 2016. Labour supply increased by 1,100 (1.5 per cent) for the same period. The relatively larger increase in labour demand resulted in a 0.4 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate to 9.0 per cent.

The Annapolis Valley reported an increase in employment of 2,900 (5.3 per cent) and an increase in the labour force of 2,800 for the first ten months of 2017 over the same period in 2016. The net result was decrease of 0.6 percentage points in the average unemployment rate to 7.7 per cent.

The Southern region saw a slight increase of 200 (0.3 per cent) in employment along with a small drop of 700 in the labour force for the first ten months of 2017 over the first ten months of 2016. With employment rising and labour force falling, the unemployment rate was down 1.3 percentage points to 10.0 per cent.

 

Comparing the first ten months of 2017 to the first ten months of 2016, Halifax (HRM) experienced a decrease in employment of 1,500 (-0.7 per cent) along with a slight increase in the labour supply (100). These adjustments resulted in 0.6 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate to 6.8 per cent. 

Provincial Comparisons

Employment increased 1.8 per cent in Canada comparing January-October 2017 with January-October 2016. Employment grew on a year-to-date basis in eight provinces with the largest gains in British Columbia (+3.6%), Prince Edward Island (+2.8%), and Quebec (+2.2%). Employment in Newfoundland and Labrador (-4.0%) declined over the first ten months of 2017 compared to the same time period in 2016. 


The Nova Scotia unemployment rate was 8.7 per cent in October 2017. In October of last year, the Nova Scotia unemployment rate was 7.7 per cent. Nine provinces have lower unemployment rates compared to the same month a year ago, with Prince Edward Island (-2.0 percentage points) having the steepest decline. The unemployment rate was higher only in Nova Scotia (+1.0 percentage points) compared to October 2016. The lowest unemployment rate among the provinces in October 2017 was in BC at 4.9 per cent while the highest was in Newfoundland and Labrador at 14.5 per cent.

  

 

National Comparisons: Cities

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the Halifax Census Metropolitan Area this month was 7.4 per cent. Victoria (3.8%) had the lowest unemployment rate for a CMA this month while the highest was in St John's (8.8%)

  

The seasonally adjusted employment rate for the Halifax Census Metropolitan Area was 61.8 per cent, down from 62.2 per cent last month. 

The three month average employment ending in October for the Halifax CMA was down 0.5 per cent compared to the three month period ending in September. The largest gain among CMAs was in Brantford, Ontario where employment rose 2.0 per cent.

 

 

Note: Seasonally adjusted, 3 month average.

 



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