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Canada’s Job Market Remained Weak in February

Statistics Canada’s monthly job market survey for February 2011 was released on Friday, March 11th and paints a bleak picture. February saw employment gains of some 15,000 jobs, but these came on the heals of self-employed increasing by 26,000 jobs. This is hardly encouraging because many people pursue self-employment simply because they cannot find jobs – but the income that they generate tends to often be less than what they would expect to make if they were employed. This means that actual employment dropped by 11,000. The number of private sector workers declined.

This brought the total gains over the last three months to 115,000. The unemployment rate stayed the same at 7.8%. During the past year employment rose by 1.9% (+322,000).

Part-time employment had gains of 39,000 in February. Over the past year, part-time employment grew by 5.1% (+166,000) while full-time employment increased by 1.1% (+156,000).

There were small gains in several industries in February. Employment in health care, social assistance, and accommodation and food services rose slightly. There were declines in business, public administration, building and other support services.

Alberta was the only province to have a notable gain in February, up by 14,000. The other provinces experienced little change.

The only demographic group to see a rise in employment in February was those aged 15 to 24 (+15,000), but much of it was due to youth pursuing part-time jobs.

Employment rose slightly in health care, social assistance, accommodation and food services.

Employment in the health care and social assistance sectors grew by 18,000 in February. During the past year this industry saw increases of 87,000 (+4.3%).

During the same month, the accommodation and food services industry saw increases of 15,000. Since last year, employment in this industry has dropped by 44,000.

From a year ago, employment in the manufacturing industry has risen by 2.9% (+50,000).

Also in February, employment in business, building and other support services dropped by 35,000. This offset a similar increase in employment during the previous month.

In February, employment in the public administration sector dropped by 14,000. Despite this downturn, employment in this industry grew by 38,000 since last year.

Less jobs in Ontario, BC employment remains unchanged

After an increase of 78,000 during the past three months, employment in Ontario edged down slightly in February. As a result of fewer people looking for work, the unemployment rate also went down to 8.0%. Ontario has seen increases of 2.1% (+138,000) over the past year.

The unemployment rate in British Columbia increased 0.6 percentage points to 8.8%. This is the result of more people looking for work.

Youth employment rises in February

Workers aged 15 to 24 saw their numbers increase by 16,000 in February, all in part-time work. Their unemployment rate went down slightly to 14.3%. During the past year, employment for this group has risen by 1.1% (+26,000).

There was little employment change among men and women aged 25 to 54 and 55 and over during the month of February.

The full report can be found here: