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Canada. Unemployment rate down

Following three consecutive months of increases, employment was little changed in July. The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points to 7.2%, as fewer people participated in the labour market.

Employment increased by 252,000 (+1.5%) compared with July 2010, with the growth in full time and among private sector employees.

In July, employment increased in construction, transportation and warehousing as well as retail and wholesale trade. At the same time, there were decreases in health care and social assistance; educational services; business, building and other support services; natural resources as well as agriculture.

An increase in the number of private sector employees was offset by a decline in the public sector.

There were more people working in Alberta and in Newfoundland and Labrador in July, while there was a decline in Ontario. There was little or no change in the other provinces.

In July, younger students aged 15 to 16 experienced more difficulty finding work than their older counterparts. Their unemployment rate was similar to that of July 2009, while the rate for students aged 20 to 24 dropped by half.

Gains in construction, transportation and warehousing

Employment in construction rose by 31,000 in July, following three months of little change. This increase brings gains over the past 12 months to 66,000 (+5.3%).

Employment in transportation and warehousing rose for the second consecutive month, up 28,000 in July. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in transportation and warehousing increased by 7.2%, the highest growth rate of all industries.

There were 28,000 more people working in retail and wholesale trade in July. Despite this increase, employment in this industry remained similar to its level of a year earlier.

Employment in manufacturing edged up in July. Over the past 12 months, the number of workers in this industry rose by 1.2% (+22,000).

Following a long-term upward trend, employment fell by 39,000 in health care and social assistance in July. This decline leaves employment in the industry slightly above its level of July 2010 (+0.7%).

Employment in educational services declined by 30,000 in July, all in elementary and secondary schools (see Note to readers).

Employment also decreased in July in business, building and other support services (-14,000), natural resources (-11,000) as well as agriculture (-9,000).

More private sector employees

The number of employees in the private sector increased for the fifth consecutive month, up 95,000 in July. This brings total gains from 12 months earlier to 241,000 (+2.2%). In contrast, employment in the public sector fell by 72,000 in July, leaving the number of employees in the sector 0.9% above the level of 12 months ago.

Self-employment edged down in July, bringing the number of self-employed slightly below its level of 12 months ago (-0.7%).

In July, increases in full-time employment were mostly offset by declines in part-time work. Over the last 12 months, full-time employment has grown by 351,000 (+2.6%) while part time has declined by 99,000 (-2.9%).

Employment increases in Alberta

Employment in Alberta rose by 12,000 in July, the third consecutive monthly increase. Employment in the province is now 3.8% higher than 12 months earlier. This is the highest growth rate of all provinces and higher than the national average of 1.5%.

Following two consecutive months of decreases, employment in Newfoundland and Labrador increased by 3,800 in July. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province has grown by 3.5%, the second highest growth rate in the country.

In Ontario, employment declined by 22,000 in July. Despite this decline, employment growth over the past 12 months stands at 1.6%, similar to the national growth rate. The unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 7.5%, the result of a decrease in the number of people participating in the labour market.

While employment in Quebec was little changed in July, the unemployment rate fell by 0.7 percentage points to 7.2%, mostly the result of fewer people in the labour market in search of work. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province increased by 1.5%, the same as the national rate of growth.

Student summer employment

From May to August, the Labour Force Survey collects labour market information about young people aged 15 to 24 who were attending school full time in March and intend to return to school in the fall. The published estimates are not seasonally adjusted; therefore, comparisons can only be made on a year-over-year basis.

Employment for students aged 15 to 24 was little changed in July compared with 12 months earlier. In July 2011, the unemployment rate for students was 17.4%, similar to that of July 2010. This was lower than the rate of 20.8% observed in July 2009, a time when the student labour market was particularly affected by the labour market downturn.

In July 2011, younger students experienced more difficulty than their older counterparts in finding work. The unemployment rate among students aged 15 to 16 was the highest among all students at 32.7% and was similar to their rate of July 2009.

Among 17- to 19-year-olds, the unemployment rate was 17.6%, lower than the rate of 19.9% in July 2009. For students aged 20 to 24, it was 7.1%, about half the rate of 13.3% observed two years earlier.

© Statistics Canada -

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