Last Updated on July 24, 2017
Canada posted its lowest unemployment rate since July 2015 at the end of May, falling to 6.9 per cent as a surprise 14,000 jobs were added despite gloomy forecasts from economists.
The latest Statistics Canada data showed the number of people in work grew by 109,000 in the year to May, a rise of 0.6 per cent.
In May alone, 61,000 full time jobs were added to the economy, but 47,000 part time jobs were lost.
This job creation was greater than anticipated, with the drop in unemployment rate caused by fewer people looking for work. Meanwhile, the wildfires in Alberta made it complicated and difficult to collect accurate estimates of employment.
Provincially, Quebec and Ontario led the way in terms of jobs added, both with 21,600, reducing their unemployment rates to 7.1 and 6.6 per cent respectively.
Month to Month Comparison
|End May||End April|
|Unemployment rate (%)||6.9||7.1|
|Employment rate (%)||61.1||61.1|
|Labour force participation rate (%)||65.7||65.8|
|Youth (15-24) unemployment rate (%)||13.3||13.1|
|Men (over 25) unemployment rate (%)||6.4||6.6|
|Women (over 25) unemployment rate (%)||5.4||5.5|
Manitoba skipped to the top of the chart in terms of unemployment, at 5.9 per cent, thanks to the 2,900 jobs it added over the course of the month.
Falling from first to third was British Columbia, after holding top spot for the first time since comparisons began at the end of April. The western province lost 8,400 jobs in May, causing unemployment to rise from 5.8 to 6.1 per cent.
The Provinces Ranked by Unemployment Rate
|Province||Jobs change May||Unemployment rate (%)|
|3) British Columbia||-8,400||6.1|
|7) Nova Scotia||-3,600||8.3|
|8) New Brunswick||-900||9.9|
|9) Prince Edward Island||+700||10.4|
|10) Newfoundland & Labrador||+1,600||11.7|
Sandwiched between Manitoba and B.C. is Saskatchewan, with 2,200 jobs added leading to an unemployment rate of 6 per cent.
The gloom continued in Alberta, where the impact of the Fort McMurray wildfire saw 24,000 jobs lost in May, half of those in the natural resources industry. Hours worked also fell by 5.1 per cent, the largest monthly drop in 30 years.
“These declines coincided with the wildfires in northern Alberta, which affected business operations in a number of industries, including oil and gas extraction,” the report noted.
With a decrease of 54,000 jobs in the year to May, Alberta’s unemployment rate is now at 7.8 per cent.
Further losses were posted in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, where employment decreases of 3,600 and 900 led to unemployment rates of 8.3 and 9.9 per cent respectively.
Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland round off the bottom of the table with their 10.4 and 11.7 per cent unemployment rate, although both added jobs over the course of the month.
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