Canadian July Unemployment Rate lowest since 1974

Employment was little changed in July, leaving growth so far in 2007 at 1.3%, similar to the growth rate in the first seven months of 2006. The unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage points to 6.0%, the lowest since 1974.

Alberta was the only province to show a significant employment increase in July, as an estimated 14,000 more people were working. This pushed Alberta's employment rate back to its record high of 71.6%.

In July, employment gains in professional, scientific and technical services; manufacturing; transportation and warehousing; and utilities offset declines in educational services and finance, insurance, real estate and leasing.

Employment growth continued to be vigorous for students aged 15 to 24, notably for those aged 15 to 19. In July, the employment rate among 15 to 19 year-olds approached the high levels last observed in the early 1990s.

Canadian labour market remains strong
Employment growth so far in 2007 has been stronger in Canada than in the United States. Once concepts are adjusted for comparability to US definitions, Canada's employment rate in July was 64.1%, 0.3 percentage points higher than at the beginning of 2007. The employment rate in the United States, however, declined during the same period by 0.4 percentage points to 63.0%. While Canada is reaching record high rates of employment, the US is still far from the peak of 64.7% attained in April 2000.

Following slower wage increases in the first quarter of 2007, July marked the third consecutive month with a year-over-year increase above 3%. Canadian employees, on average, made 3.7% more per hour in July than they did a year earlier, running ahead of the most recent year-over-year increase of 2.2% in the Consumer Price Index.

The youth unemployment rate dropped to a low of 10.6% in July, a decline of 1.3 percentage points from a year earlier. This is their lowest unemployment rate since September 1989. Unemployment rates for youths have declined in each province in the past year with the exception of Ontario, where the rate remained unchanged from one year ago. So far in 2007, employment growth for youths (+2.1%) has been higher than that of both adult women (+1.5%) and adult men (+0.7%).

Employment gains have largely been in professional, scientific and technical services; information, culture and recreation; and trade so far in 2007. This is in contrast to the first seven months of 2006, when gains were mainly in health care and social assistance; finance, insurance, real estate and leasing; and "other services." However, manufacturing employment declined by 72,000 during the first seven months of 2007, similar to the losses in this industry during the same period of 2006.


Canadian July Unemployment Rate lowest since 1974

Canada's National Statistical Agency
8/10/2007 8:12:03 AM