Last Updated: May 10, 2013
Note to readers: With the recent revisions to seasonal adjustment, the January 2013 issue of Labour Market Monthly includes updated statistics which will not lend themselves to comparison with previously published issues. Any previous comparisons of data should be reproduced using updated statistics from Statistics Canada.
(seasonally-adjusted, month-over-month and year-over-year)
In Nova Scotia April 2013 (seasonally-adjusted, month-over-month and year-over-year):
Labour force decreased 0.3% (-1,700) over March 2013 to 501,700 and increased 0.4% (+1,900) over April 2012.
Employment increased 0.1% ( +400 ) over March 2013 to 456,200 and increased 0.5% (+2,100) over April 2012.
Unemployment decreased 4.6% (-2,200) over March 2013 to 45,400 and decreased 0.7% (-300) over April 2012.
Unemployment rate decreased 0.5 percentage points over March 2013 to 9.0%.
In Canada April 2013 (seasonally-adjusted, month-over-month and year-over-year):
Labour force remained virtually unchanged (-500) over March 2013 at 19.0 million and increased 0.8% (+150,700) over April 2012.
Employment increased 0.1% (+12,500) over March 2013 to 17.7 million and increased 0.9% (+162,500) over April 2012.
Unemployment decreased 0.9% (-13,000) over March 2013 to 1.4 million and decreased 0.9% (-11,700) over April 2012.
Unemployment rate remained unchanged over March 2013 at 7.2%.
In Halifax April 2013 (3 month moving average, unadjusted):
Labour force remained unchanged over March 2013 at 238,700 and increased 0.3% (+600) over April 2012.
Employment decreased 0.2% (-400) over March 2013 to 222,400 and decreased by 0.2% (-400) over April 2012.
Unemployment increased 2.5% (+400) over March 2013 to 16,300 and increased 7.2% (+1,100) over April 2012.
Unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage points over March 2013 to 6.8%.
(seasonally-adjusted, month-over-month and year-over-year)
Throughout much of 2010 and 2011, Nova Scotia's seasonally adjusted employment results have been characterized by monthly volatility resulting from shifts in employment growth between full and part employment. In 2012, this volatility has been replaced by short trends; slow employment declines in spring of 2012, followed by three months of gains in the summer and three months of declines in the autumn. The latest employment results for April 2013 showed a slight gain of 400 in overall employment to 456,200. April was the fourth consecutive month of positive employment results.
Source Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey
All April employment growth was among full-time workers (3,600) with a decline of 3,100 for part time employment. Nova Scotia has experienced a long pattern of full-time and part-time employment trade-offs. However in the last two months growth has been concentrated in full time employment.
Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey
The employment level for April is just below the peak level observed before the global recession (October 2008: 456,500). Canada has been above that level since the start of 2011.
Compared to March 2013, the labour force has decreased by 1,700 (-0.3 per cent) to 501,700. This decrease in labour supply coupled with increased labour demand (employment) decreased Nova Scotia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate by 0.5 percentage points to 9.0 per cent. With less workers in the labour force compared to March, the participation rate decreased by 0.3 percentage points to 64.2 per cent.
Compared with April 2012, the labour force has increased by 1,900 (0.4 per cent) while employment has increased by 2,100 (0.5 per cent). With labour demand growing at a faster pace than labour supply, the net result was a drop in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate from 9.1 per cent in April 2012 to 9.0 percent in April 2013.
Labour force level in April is still near record highs with an estimate of 501,700. This is just below the record level of 504,700 for August 2012. In August of 1990, Nova Scotia had a labour force of 431,300 and a participation rate of 61.8 per cent. The latest participation rate was 64.2 per cent in April 2013.
Comparing the first four months of 2013 with same period in 2012, there has been a decrease of --07 percent (-3,100) in average employment levels. This reflects declines in both in full time employment (-1,500) and part time employment (-1,600). Late 2011 and early 2012 were at or near all time highs in employment for Nova Scotia.
During the first four months of 2013, the labour force increased 0.2 per cent, compared with the same period in 2012. With employment declining coupled an increase in labour supply, the net result was an increase in the average unemployment rate from 8.6 per cent for the first four months of 2012 to 9.4 per cent for the same period in 2013. The labour force participation rate remained the same at 64.1 per cent.
A breakdown of employment by industries for the first four months of 2013 over the period of 2012 reveals the dynamics underlying Nova Scotia's labour markets. Employment in goods-producing sectors had a decline of 3,800 with most of the decline concentrated in manufacturing. All goods sectors had declines except construction which had a slight gain of 1,200 and utilities with a gain of 300. There was a net gain in employment of 700 in service-producing sectors. There were substantial declines in the educational services; finance, insurance and real estate and other services. These declines in service sector employment were countered with gains in professional scientific and technical services; building and support services (includes call centres) wholesale and retail trade; and transportation and warehousing.
Source: Source Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, CANSIM Table 282-0088 (monthly)
Year-to-date (January – April 2013)
Unadjusted data (three month moving averages) for the sub-provincial regions shows employment declines in 4 of 5 economic regions comparing first four months of 2013 over the same period in 2012. Over the same period, labour force grew in 2 of 5 regions. Unemployment rates were up in each economic region.
The Cape Breton region reported a decrease in employment of 3,500 for the first four of 2013 over the same period in 2012. The labour force dropped by 2,100 over the same period resulting in a increase of 2.9 percentage points in the unemployment rate to 17.3 per cent.
For the North Shore region, employment decreased 1,800 for the first four months of 2013. Labour supply fall by 1,400 for the same period. The larger fall in employment caused a 0.8 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate to 12.6 per cent.
The Annapolis region experienced an increase in employment of 2,400 for the first four months of 2013. Coupled with a larger increase of 3,700 in the labour supply, the net result was a 1.6 percentage point increase in the average unemployment rate to 10.7 per cent.
The Southern region saw an employment decrease of 1,000 for the first four months of 2013 over the same period in 2012 while labour force had no change. With a larger employment decline compared to labour supply, the end result was an increase in the unemployment rate of 1.7 percentage points to 12.7 per cent.
Halifax experienced a drop of 600 in employment with an increase of 900 for labour supply for the first four months of 2013. With labour demand falling along with an increase in labour supply, the net impact was an increase of 0.6 percentage points in the unemployment rate to 6.5 per cent.
The chart below shows unemployment rates and employment rates for all provinces and CMAs in Canada.
Source: CANSIM Table 282-0054 and 282-0116
NOTE: Labour force estimates at the sub-provincial level should always be viewed with caution, given they are a three-month moving averages and the error estimates associated with smaller sample sizes are large.
National Comparisons: Provinces
Compared with the four months of 2012, Nova Scotia’s employment growth is below the national pace. The strongest gains have been in Saskatchewan, PEI, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
While national unemployment was at 7.2 per cent, Nova Scotia’s unemployment rate was 9.0 per cent as labour force growth outpaced employment gains.
National Comparisons: Cities
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the Halifax Census Metropolitan Area was 6.3 per cent. Quebec City (4.4%) has the lowest unemployment rate east of Ontario.
The seasonally adjusted employment rate for the Halifax Census Metropolitan Area sat at 65.0 per cent between March and April 2013.
Employment growth in the Halifax CMA was -0.4% from March to April (note: this is not a 3month moving average as indicated in the regional section above). Largest gains from month to month in CMAs was in Peterborough, Ontario (+1.8%).
CANSIM Data Sources (available without charge from Statistics Canada):
282-0001 (Basic Characteristics)
282-0054 (Economic Regions),
282-0087 (Seasonally Adjusted),
282-0088 (by Industry)
282-0116 (Census Metropolitan Areas)
About the Labour Market Monthly provides a glossary of definitions, concepts/methods and sources associated with the labour market information covered in the Labour Market Monthly publication.