Unemployment rate remains unchanged at 6.1%
Following a decline in July, employment edged up by 15,000 in August. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.1%. Since the start of the year, employment has increased by 87,000 (+0.5%), a much smaller increase compared to the 221,000 (+1.3%) of the first eight months of 2007.
Employment gains in August were all in full-time work. So far in 2008, increases have been a mix of both full- and part-time employment compared with mostly full-time growth during the same period of 2007.
In August, there were employment gains in Saskatchewan and Ontario, partially offset by losses in Nova Scotia and Manitoba. Employment was virtually unchanged in the other provinces. For the first eight months of 2008, employment gains have been in Ontario and the western provinces.
In August, employment increased in educational services and utilities services. These gains were partially offset by decreases in health care and social assistance; agriculture and public administration.
There was a slight increase in manufacturing employment in August. So far this year, this industry has declined by 14,000 (-0.7%), a smaller decrease compared with the same period in 2007 (-76,000 or -3.6%).
August's employment gains were mostly among private sector employees (+41,000), while there were fewer employees in the public sector (-24,000). Since the beginning of 2008, employment growth has been primarily among employees in the private sector, in contrast to strength in the public sector and in self-employment over the same period of 2007.
Most of the employment increases in August were among men and women aged 25 to 54 years, countered by declines among older women. In the first eight months of 2008, employment growth was stronger for older workers than core-aged workers and youth.
Education employment increased by 30,000 in August, following a decline of a similar magnitude the previous month. This leaves employment in this industry up 1.8% from 12 months ago.
Employment declined by 22,000 in health care and social assistance in August, mostly in Ontario and Alberta. Despite this decline, employment remains at a level similar to that at the start of 2008.
Agriculture employment was down 18,000 in August, primarily in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. Since the most recent peak of July 2005, employment in this industry has declined by 52,000 (-14.1%).
Following two months of declines, Ontario's employment level was up 14,000 in August, as large full-time gains were partially offset by part-time losses. The unemployment rate edged down to 6.3% in August. So far in 2008, employment in Ontario has increased by 0.8%, all in part time. Increases in construction and several service industries were dampened by declines in information, culture and recreation; manufacturing and trade over the year.
While Quebec's employment was little changed in August, the unemployment rate increased to 7.7%,a result of more people entering the labour force in search of work. So far this year, employment is down 0.6%, with declines in agriculture and several services industries.