Despite the drop in the price of oil, the labour market appears to have held steady in February, according to the Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey. Here is what’s important from the last issue.
Smaller job losses in Canada
While analysts were expecting a more rapid decline, the labour market only registered a decrease of 1,000 jobs in February. Looking at it in detail, it can be noted that full-time jobs rose by 34,000 but part-time jobs fell by 34,900. Less surprisingly, unemployment rose 0.2 percentage points between January and February to reach 6.8%.
Rising unemployment in Alberta
A direct consequence of dropping oil prices, Alberta saw a sharp increase in unemployment in February. The rate rose by 0.8 points to reach 5.3%, which is considered to be the highest in the province since September 2011. In hindsight, last month the rate was flirting with being the lowest in Canada. So in the space of one month, Alberta lost 14,000 jobs, mostly in the natural resources sector.
17,000 more jobs in Quebec
Quebec meanwhile posted an increase of 17,000 jobs, but only in part-time work. Last month, 16,000 jobs were also recorded in the province. These jobs for the most part relate to the trade, transport and health care and social assistance sectors. The unemployment rate remained stable at 7.4%, however. This is explained by the arrival, in February, of 19,600 more people into the workforce.
Construction and teaching, sources of jobs
The major increases in employment were found in these two sectors in February: +16,000 in construction and +15,000 in teaching. However, 17,000 jobs were lost in the same period in natural resources, mainly in British Columbia and Alberta. 20,000 jobs were also lost in the manufacturing sector, especially in Ontario and Alberta.