Canada's Unemployment Rate Down to 7.4% in February

A decline in the number of people searching for work pushed the unemployment rate down 0.2 percentage points to 7.4%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment was up by 121,000 (+0.7%), with the bulk of the increase occurring in the first half of the period., Statistics Canada 3/9/2012 12:21:06 PM

There was little change in full-time and part-time employment in February. Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of full-time workers was up 1.5% (+204,000), while part-time employment declined 2.5% (-83,000). At the same time, the total number of hours worked grew 1.7%, with all of the increase occurring in the first half of the period.

Employment for the month declined in retail and wholesale trade; transportation and warehousing; health care and social assistance; and public administration. These declines were offset by increases in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing; educational services; and business, building and other support services.

Employment in February fell among youths aged 15 to 24, while it increased among people aged 55 and over. For those aged 25 to 54, employment was unchanged.

Employment was little changed among employees and the self-employed. Compared with 12 months earlier, all of the growth was among private sector employees (+1.4%), while both self-employment (-0.7%) and public sector employment (-0.5%) were down slightly.