Following two months of little change, employment rose by 58,000 in April, mainly in part time. The unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage points to 7.6%. Compared with April 2010, employment has grown by 283,000 (+1.7%).
There were gains in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing as well as in business, building and other support services in April. Employment was essentially unchanged in the other industries.
In April, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador were the only provinces with notable employment gains. At the same time, employment declined in Nova Scotia and Manitoba while there was little change in the remaining provinces.
The number of employees rose in both the private and public sectors in April. Over the past 12 months, employment in the public sector has grown by 2.8% compared with 1.6% in the private sector, while self-employment was little changed.
Employment in part time increased by 41,000 in April, and it edged up in full time. Over the past 12 months, full-time employment grew by 1.9% compared with 0.8% in part time.
With April's slight gain, full-time employment has returned to the level of October 2008 for the first time. The total number of hours worked, however, remained 0.6% below its October 2008 level.
Employment was up among women aged 55 and over in April, while it changed little for the other demographic groups.
Service sector leads employment gains
The largest employment gains in April were in the service sector, led by finance, insurance, real estate and leasing (+19,000) and business, building and other support services (+17,000).
In the goods sector, employment in natural resources (+6,600) edged up in April.
Employment in both manufacturing and construction was little changed in April. Over the past 12 months, however, these industries had employment gains of 3.3% and 2.7% respectively.
Despite little change over the last few months, the fastest employment growth since April 2010 was in transportation and warehousing (+7.7%). The second fastest year-over-year growth was in health care and social assistance (+3.6%), continuing its long-term upward trend.
Employment in Ontario continues upward trend
Employment in Ontario rose by 55,000 in April, driven by gains in part time (+46,000). As a result, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points to 7.9%, its lowest level since December 2008. Despite April's part-time gain, Ontario's employment growth of 157,000 (+2.4%) over the past 12 months was all in full time.
Newfoundland and Labrador was the only other province with a notable employment gain in April, up 3,100. Over the past 12 months, the number of workers rose by 15,000 or 6.9%, the fastest rate of growth of all provinces. In April, the unemployment rate fell by 1.3 percentage points to 11.1%, its lowest rate since 1976, when comparable data became available.
In April, employment fell by 5,500 in Nova Scotia and by 3,300 in Manitoba.
In Quebec, employment was unchanged in April, and the unemployment rate was 7.8%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was up 1.2% (+46,000).
Fastest employment growth among women 55 and over
Employment rose among women 55 and over, up 29,000 in April. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment among these women increased by 102,000 or 7.9%, the fastest rate of growth of all demographic groups.
Among youths aged 15 to 24 and core-aged workers (25 to 54), employment held steady in April. Over the past 12 months, employment among youths and core-aged women was little changed, while it was up 105,000 (+1.7%) among core-aged men.