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Employment picture brightens


October 11, 2009
By Andy Bateman

October 11, 2009 – Employment increased for the second consecutive month,
up 31,000 in September, driven by large full-time gains. The
unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage points to 8.4%, the
first monthly decline since the beginning of the labour market downturn in the
fall of 2008, according to Statistics Canada’s September 2009 labour force
survey.

Manufacturing employment increased by 26,000 in
September, the first notable increase since February 2009. Employment in
this industry had the sharpest rate of decline since the start of the labour
market downturn in the fall of 2008, down 10.6% (-210,000).

Following an increase the previous month, employment in
construction rose again in September (+25,000). Both housing starts and
building permits have increased from April to August 2009. Despite these
recent increases, employment in this industry has fallen by 6.7% (-84,000)
since October 2008.

There was an employment gain of 18,000 in educational
services in September. Since October 2008, employment in this industry has
declined by 1.6% (-20,000).

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Employment in transportation and warehousing decreased
by 21,000 in September, continuing the downward trend since the fall
of 2008. Employment has fallen by 8.4% or 73,000 since October,
mostly in truck transportation in Ontario and Quebec.

In September, public sector employment increased by 36,000,
leaving employment in this sector down 0.8% since October 2008.
Employment among private sector employees edged down in September, while there
was a small increase among the self employed. Most of the employment declines
since October have been among private sector employees (-3.6%), while the
number of self employed has increased by 2.9%.


Largest gain in British Columbia

By province, the most
notable employment gain in September was in British Columbia, up 14,000. Although
down 1.7% since October 2008, employment in this province has been
increasing since March 2009 (+1.3% or +30,000). The unemployment
rate, at 7.4%, declined by 0.4 percentage points in September.

In Ontario,
a large full-time increase (+62,000) was dampened by a loss in part time
(-49,000), leaving employment up only slightly in September. The unemployment
rate declined by 0.2 percentage points to 9.2%.

September marks the third consecutive month of small employment
increases in Ontario,
totalling 39,000. Despite this increase, Ontario has suffered the fastest rate of
employment losses since October (-2.9%), mostly in full time and in
manufacturing, construction and a number of service industries.

Employment also increased in New Brunswick in September, up 2,900,
bringing the unemployment rate down 1.2 percentage points,
to 8.1%.

Quebec's
employment level was little changed in September for the second consecutive
month. The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage points
to 8.8%, as fewer people participated in the labour market. Since October,
employment in this province has fallen by 1.6%, less than the national
average of 2.1%.


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