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Construction employment decline slows


July 13, 2009
By Andy Bateman

July 13, 2009 – Statistics Canada’s Labour Force
Survey issued last Friday shows a modest gain in construction employment
from May to June 2009, still leaving a 6% year over year decline from June 2008 to
June 2009.

For all industries
and workers, overall employment was little changed in June, leaving total net
losses during the last three months at 13,000, much smaller than
the 273,000 decline in the first three months of the year. The
unemployment rate edged up 0.2 percentage points to 8.6% in
June, as more people looked for work.

 

Full-time employment
continued its downward trend in June, offsetting gains in part time. Since
employment peaked in October 2008, full-time losses (-454,000) have been
only partially offset by part-time gains (+84,000), leaving total employment
down by 370,000.

 

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There were gains in
information, culture and recreation in June, as well as in finance, insurance,
real estate and leasing. Industries with notable declines were manufacturing
and business, building and other support services.


Slower pace of decline in last three months
While employment
remains well below its October 2008 peak, there was a notable shift
in the pace of the downward trend in employment in the last three months. Total
net losses were 13,000 for the last three months, much less than
the 273,000 decline in the first three months of this year.

 

During the first
three months of 2009, employment fell in almost all industries, especially
in manufacturing and construction, whereas over the last three months,
employment increased in most service industries, stabilized in construction but
continued to decline in manufacturing.

 

By province, the
greatest change in the employment trend occurred in Quebec,
British Columbia and Alberta. In the first three months
of 2009, employment fell sharply in all three provinces, in contrast to
the last three months, when employment rose in Quebec
and British Columbia, and held steady in Alberta. In Ontario, employment
continued to fall over the last three months, although at a slower pace.

 

June's employment
gains were in information, culture and recreation (+26,000); and finance,
insurance, real estate and leasing (+21,000).

 

Manufacturing
continued its downward trend in June (-26,000), with most of the month's
declines in Quebec.
Nationally, this sector has experienced the sharpest rate of decline of all
industries (-10.7%) since October 2008, with losses mainly in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

There were also
losses in business, building and other support services in June (-14,000).

 

Employment little changed in most provinces

Newfoundland and Labrador was the only province with employment gains in
June, up 2,500. At the same time, the unemployment rate edged up
to 15.6% as there were more people in the labour force.

 

Full-time losses in Ontario in June
(-56,000) were offset by part-time gains (+57,000), leaving total employment
unchanged. The unemployment rate edged up to 9.6%, the highest rate
in 15 years. Since last October, employment in the province has
fallen by 232,000 (-3.5%), with over half of the losses in
manufacturing (-126,000).

 

While employment in Saskatchewan was
virtually unchanged in June, this was the only province with an upward trend in
employment since October (+1.0%). At 4.6% in June, the unemployment rate
in Saskatchewan
was the lowest of all provinces.

Employment in Quebec was unchanged in
June and the unemployment rate was 8.8%. Since October, employment in Quebec has fallen by
only 0.8%, a rate of decrease much lower than the national average
(-2.2%).


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