Unemployment figures drop in September

Nearly 12,000 jobs were created in September, bringing the unemployment rate down to its lowest level since 2008, below the 7% threshold. The figures recently released by Statistics Canada are also marked by a decline in the number of young people looking for a job.

11,900 jobs were created during the last month, while economists interviewed by Reuters had estimated that this figure would be 10,000. The unemployment rate dropped from 7.1% in August to 6.9% in September. Even though the Canadian economy has been able to recover the jobs lost during the 2008 and 2009 recession, the unemployment rate has still not been able to return to its previous level which ranged between 5.9% and 6.1%.

Over the period from September 2012 to September 2013, employment increased by 1.2%. However, the unemployment rate has only changed a little, with the number of people on the job and a population of working age that has increased at almost the same pace. Also, the number of hours worked has increased by 0.8% over this period, particularly since the increase in part time work was greater than full time work.

Little changes

During September, employment rose in the finance, insurance, real estate and rental, natural resources and agriculture sectors. However, manufacturing and public service declined. In all provinces, employment remained steady except in New Brunswick, where there were 2,800 new jobs, and Saskatchewan which, however, recorded a decrease of 3,200 jobs. For the former province, the unemployment rate stood at 10.7% and for the latter at 4.3%. It should be noted that this rate, with that of Alberta, is the lowest recorded in the provinces.

Young people less affected by unemployment

In September, the unemployment rate of those aged 15-24 years fell to 12.9%, 1.2 points less than the preceding month. Fewer young people were seeking work which translated into a rate of employment that increased 1.7% since September 2012.

Jobs for people over 55 years old did not experience a major change. However, the number of workers in this age group increased by 140,000, or 4.3%. This growth is mainly due to aging of the population.

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