Canada's unemployment rate decreases to 5.9% in September

The unemployment rate dipped 0.1 percentage points to 5.9% in September, the first time since November 1974 that the rate has been below 6.0%. The decline in the rate occurred as employment rose by an estimated 51,000, with gains concentrated in full-time employment.

So far in 2007, employment has grown by 1.7% (+283,000), a rate of growth higher than that observed over the first nine months of 2006 (+1.3%).

In September, core-age workers—that is, persons aged 25 to 54—experienced their first significant gain in employment (+40,000) since the start of the year.

Older workers (aged 55 and over) also showed employment strength with an increase of 23,000 in September. So far this year, employment among older people has been growing at a faster pace (+5.6%) than for people in the core age group.

Employment increased by an estimated 30,000 in Ontario, all full-time work. Despite this increase, employment growth in the province over the first nine months of the year (+1.2%) remains below the national average of 1.7%.

Since the beginning of the year, the number of hours worked at the national level rose by 2.1%, a much stronger rate of increase than the 1.0% growth observed over the same period a year ago.

The largest employment increases in September were in educational services, followed by public administration; professional, scientific and technical services; and agriculture. There were declines, however, in retail trade.

Over the first nine months of the year, manufacturing employment has declined by 3.7% while there has been robust growth in a number of service industries, as well as in construction and utilities.

Employees, on average, earned 4.2% more per hour in September than they did in September 2006, while the most recent year-over-year increase in the Consumer Price Index was 1.7%. This is the largest estimated year-over-year increase in average hourly wages since the Labour Force Survey began collecting this information in 1997.



Canada's National Statistical Agency
10/5/2007 7:04:08 AM