Surprisingly Strong Job Market Performance in June 2011

from Brittney Windatt

Employment in Canada grew by 28,000 in June, continuing its rise for the third consecutive month.   According to June’s labour market survey report from Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate remains at 7.4 percent as the number of people participating in the labour market increased; however, since mid-2009, the unemployment rate has declined.

Over the past 12 months, employment has grown by 238,000, representing a 1.4 percent increase.   While the previous month saw an increase in the number of self-employed, June saw a decrease in self-employment causing an increase in the number of employees working in the public and private sectors.   According to the Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada, over the past 12 months the public sector employment rose by 2.5 percent, the private sector employment was up by 1.5 percent, and the number of self-employed experienced little change.   The bulk of June’s employment increase occurred among women aged 25 to 54. Unemployment for students aged 17 to 19 was down in June, while little change occurred for students aged 20 to 24.   Part-time work accounted for much of the monthly increases in June.   However, over the past 12 months, growth in full time contributed 205,000 of the 238,000 increased in overall employment.

Employment increased in transportation and warehousing in June, while employment decreased in the professional, scientific, and technical services industries.   All other industries remained largely unchanged.   Employment rose by 15,000 in transportation and warehousing in June and since June 2010, this industry experienced the fastest employment growth of all industries at a 5.4 percent increase.

On the opposite side, employment in professional, scientific and technical services was down by 19,000.   Since June 2010, the number of people working in the construction industry has increased 3.2 percent; however, for the third consecutive month, employment in construction remained unchanged.   Following a decline in May, the manufacturing industry has seen little change in June; however, jobs in the manufacturing industry has risen 1.7 percent over the past 12 months.   In the other goods-producing sectors from June 2010 to June 2011, agriculture saw the largest percentage increase in employment at 3.8% where as utilities saw 2.2% decrease in employment.   The largest percentage increase in the services-producing sector was transportation and warehousing at 5.4%, with trade experiencing the largest downfall in employment at a 1.3% decrease.

Employment in Ontario was up 40,000 in June, following a slight decline in May.   Over the past 12 months, according the Labour Force Survey, employment in Ontario rose 1.7 percent with the unemployment rate falling 0.2 percent to 7.7 percent for the month of June.

The number of job postings has increased since 2010, with most of the hiring demand for the last quarter coming from the goods sector – despite the slight drop in April.   Due to the crisis in Japan, manufacturers may have delayed hiring as a significant share of manufacturing is derived from the automotive industry.   Luckily, this decrease did not continue and the goods sector saw a large increase for the second consecutive month.   Employment among the service sector remained constant and at an increase compared to 2010.

Hiring demand numbers for June (which Vicinity Jobs measures as the number of postings) show that the Health Care and Social Assistance industry experienced a strong 42% increase compared to June 2010.   Manufacturing and retail trade experienced strong hiring demand as well.

Among the different occupation category, hiring demand was highest for managers, followed by   engineers, architects, IT, and natural science second, and sales jobs third (not including hiring demand for retail sales jobs).