On Friday the 7th Statistics Canada released the latest Canadian employment figures (The Daily, Friday, September 7, 2007. Labour Force Survey).
Although the headline grabbing unemployment rate has gone up from 7.2% to 7.7% in August this masks very positive trends in the labour market.
- Employment has gone up by 1000 (rounded) jobs – a gain of 1800 full time jobs and a loss of 700 part-time jobs – 13000 more than September 2006.
- The provincial labour force has gone up by 3100 people – a gain of over 8000 from Sepember 2006
- The province’s population has gone up by 400 people which is more than 2000 people more than stated in the September 06 release
- Participation rate up to 64.1% from 63.7% – up from 63% in September 2006.
All of these are positive trends and need to continue.
If we look closer at the various economic regions specifically the Fredericton-Oromocto economic region, we see some interesting numbers. In the past year, the population has increased by approximately 500 people but the number of people in the labour force has increased by 2300. The number of jobs has risen by 3600 dropping the unemployment rate to 5.5% and pushing the participation rate to 72.1% the highest in the Atlantic provinces, in fact the highest east of Ottawa. The employment rate in the region is also at a high 68.2% the highest employment rate east of Manitoba.
Things certainly seem to be going well in the Fredericton Oromocto area.
Other economic regions have mixed numbers with the northern regions of Cambellton and Edmunston having dropping population while the southern regions appear to be doing fairly well with both population and employment.
Unfortunately the labour force survey has a reference point of August 15th and so it does not take into account the layoff of 620 people at the UPM mill in Miramichi nor the 400 call-centre layoffs at Connect North America in Fredericton and Bathurst in late August.
I have a feeling that next month’s report won’t look quite as nice.