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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Alexander Chute Economist
Tel: 902-424-5810Email:

December 08, 2017

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a gain of 228,000 positions in non-farm payroll employment for November.  This follows on the revised gain of just 244,000 in October. 

Employment gains were concentrated in professional/business services (+46,000), manufacturing (+31,000), health care (+30,000) and construction (+24,000).  Most other major industries reported little monthly employment change: mining, wholesale, retail, transportation, information, finance, leisure/hospitality and government.

The US unemployment rate was stable at 4.1 per cent for November despite a rise of 148,000 in the US civilian labour force.  The US unemployment rate has been trending consistently downward since economic recovery began in 2010 and is now below the rates observed prior to the recession of 2007-2009.  The US unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 2000; prior to 2000 the last sustained period of such low unemployment rates in the US was the late 1960s. 

US and Canadian unemployment rates have trended down in recent months while Nova Scotia's unemployment rate has returned to a level near its long run average.

The rise in the labour force was consistent with population change and the US participation rate was stable at 62.7 per cent in November.  The US employment rate was down by 0.1 percentage points to 60.1 per cent.

The US participation rate has stabilized after a decline of about 3 percentage points in the aftermath of the recession.  Participation rates have trended down from pre-recession levels in Canada and in Nova Scotia as well.

US employment rates have been trending up slowly since 2014.  After the recession of 2007-2009, employment rates in both Canada and the US fell to below pre-recession levels and have yet to recover.  In contrast, Nova Scotia employment rates remained relatively stable during the 2007-2009 recession, but started to decline when the labour force started dropping in 2013. 



Note: NS and US labour force statistics refer to different working-age cohorts.

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Statistics Canada CANSIM table 282-0087

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