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August 2009 (Previous release)
Employment increased by 27,000 in August, led by part-time work and among private sector employees. The unemployment rate edged up 0.1 percentage points to 8.7% as more people participated in the labour market.Since employment peaked in October 2008, total employment has fallen by 387,000 (-2.3%). The trend in employment, however, has changed recently. Over the last five months, employment has fallen by 31,000, a much smaller decline than the 357,000 observed during the five months following October 2008.
Note to readers
The Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates are based on a sample, and are therefore subject to sampling variability. Estimates for smaller geographic areas or industries will have more variability. For an explanation of sampling variability of estimates, and how to use standard errors to assess this variability, consult the “Data quality” section of the publication Labour Force Information (71-001-X, free).
Changes in average hourly wages are affected by shifts in the composition of the Canadian labour force. For example, a drop in employment in low-wage occupations or industries will contribute to an increase in the national average hourly wage.
In August, part-time employment rose by 31,000. Since October, full-time work has dropped by 486,000 (-3.5%), partially offset by increases in part time of 99,000 (+3.1%).
Employment among private sector employees increased by 49,000 in August, the first increase in this group since September 2008. Employment among both public sector employees and the self-employed edged down in August.
Increases were observed in a number of industries in August, including retail and wholesale trade, as well as finance, insurance, real estate and leasing. Total employment gains were partially offset by losses in business, building and other support services, as well as educational services.
In August, employment edged up in most provinces. Saskatchewan was the only province with a notable decline.
The employment increase in August was concentrated among women aged 25 to 54.
The 2009 summer labour market was one of the most challenging for students aged 15 to 24. Their average unemployment rate reached 19.2% over the summer months, the second highest rate since comparable data became available in 1977.
Average hourly wages were up 3.3% compared with August 2008, the lowest year-over-year growth in more than two years.
View Statistics Canada – Labour Force Survey here.
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