Employment rose for the second consecutive month in January, with a gain of 69,000. At the same time, the unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 7.8%, as more people searched for work. Compared with January 2010, employment was up 1.9% (+327,000).
January's employment increase was evenly split between full and part time. Compared with the same month a year earlier, part-time employment grew by 2.8% (+91,000), while full time increased by 1.7% (+236,000).
Increases in employment in January occurred in business, building and other support services; public administration; and agriculture. Transportation and warehousing as well as accommodation and food services posted declines.
Employment gains in January were spread across six provinces: Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island.
In January, employment gains were shared among private sector employees, public sector employees and the self-employed. Over the past 12 months, there was growth among employees in both the public sector (+3.4%) and private sector (+2.5%), while self-employment declined by 2.3%.
The bulk of the employment gains in January were among women aged 25 and over.
Most of the employment increases in the service sector
Following losses in December, business, building and other support services had notable gains in January (+34,000). There were also gains in public administration (+20,000) and agriculture (+13,000).
Manufacturing employment was little changed in January, following a sizeable increase of 66,000 the previous month. Employment in this industry was up 3.3% (+57,000) from January 2010.
Following notable gains in December, transportation and warehousing employment declined by 32,000 in January. Nonetheless, employment in this industry remained 6.5% (+51,000) higher than 12 months earlier.
Employment in accommodation and food services fell by 26,000 in January, bringing total losses to 3.5% (-37,000) over the past 12 months.
Employment gains spread across several provinces
In Ontario, employment increased for the third consecutive month, up 36,000 in January. The unemployment rate held steady at 8.1%, as there were more people participating in the labour market. With January's increase, the number of workers in Ontario grew by 2.3% (+151,000) from the same month a year earlier, above the national growth rate of 1.9%.
Alberta posted a notable employment increase of 22,000 in January, bringing total growth over the past 12 months to 44,000 (+2.2%). However, the unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage points to 5.9% in January as a result of an increase in the number of people seeking work.
Employment rose by 6,200 in Nova Scotia in January, pushing the unemployment rate down 0.9 percentage points to 9.5%.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, employment increased for the second month in a row, up 4,900 in January. This increase brings total gains in the province to 5.6% (+12,000) compared with a year earlier, the fastest rate of growth in the country.
Employment rose by 4,100 in Manitoba in January, bringing total employment gains over the previous 12 months to 10,000 (+1.6%).
In British Columbia, employment edged down in January and the unemployment rate increased 0.6 percentage points to 8.2%. Compared with a year earlier, employment was up 0.7% (+15,000).
Employment in Quebec was unchanged in January, and the unemployment rate rose to 7.9%, as more people searched for work. Over the past 12 months, Quebec's employment increased by 2.3% (+88,000).
More women employed in January
Employment among women aged 25 and over increased in January (+55,000), with gains for both the 25 to 54 and 55 and over age groups.
Over the past 12 months, however, employment growth for women was concentrated among those aged 55 and over. Their rate of employment (the proportion of women employed) rose by 1.4 percentage points to 29.4%. Over the same period, the rate of employment for women aged 25 to 54 declined 0.5 percentage points to 77.0%.
In January, employment was little changed for men aged 25 and over. Over the past 12 months, the rate of employment increased by 1.5 percentage points to 84.6% for men aged 25 to 54, while it increased by 1.0 percentage point to 39.5% for men aged 55 and over.
The number of 15- to 24- year-olds employed was little changed in January and their unemployment rate increased by 0.6 percentage points to 14.4%, as more youths searched for work. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment and the rate of employment for youth were virtually unchanged.