Labour Force Survey Analysis –  February 2017

Little change in overall employment in February

Canadian Labour Market

After posting solid gains in December and January, employment was essentially flat in February. In total, 15,300 net new jobs were created last month, representing an increase of less than 0.1 per cent compared to January. Modest though it was, that growth - combined with a small drop in the labour force participation rate - was enough to drive the unemployment rate down two basis points to 6.6 per cent.

employment Cda chart

Because of a hacking issue that effectively shut down access to most of Statistics Canada's data tables, information on many of the specifics behind February's jobs numbers was limited at the time of writing. These issues are expected to be resolved in time for the March data release.

Although total employment barely moved in February, the silver lining was that there was strong growth in full-time employment across Canada, offset by a near-equal decline in the number of part-time jobs. In total, there were 105,100 net new full-time positions created in February, compared to a net decline of 89,800 part-time positions.

Feb job gains full-time work chart

Results were mixed across the country with generally weaker jobs numbers in the eastern provinces and more positive outcomes in the West. BC was Canada's jobs growth leader in February, adding 19,400 net new positions - a 0.8 per cent increase over January. Saskatchewan also had a strong month, creating 8,000 new jobs (up 1.4 per cent), while Manitoba saw employment increase by 3,400 (a 0.5 per cent increase).

total employment growth feb chart

At the other end of the spectrum, there were large drops in employment in Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. While the largest absolute losses were in Quebec (11,100 fewer jobs), there was a significant percentage decline in the other two provinces: -1.5 per cent and -1.7 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile, employment in Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick were effectively unchanged in February.

job sector job losses feb chart

At the industry level, it was once again the services sector that drove national employment gains. Led by wholesale and retail trade, the public service, and transportation and warehousing, there were 30,100 new services positions created across Canada last month. By contrast, employment in goods-producing industries fell by 14,800, with the largest declines in construction (-8,500 jobs) and manufacturing (-5,200).

services sector job gains feb chart

Manufacturing Sector Labour Market
Because of the shutdown in access to Statistics Canada's data tables, no additional information is immediately available about manufacturing sector employment across Canada. In-depth coverage and analysis will resume once that issue is resolved.


Ottawa Website Designers