Employment decreased by 29,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.9% as the number of people participating in the labour market edged down. There has been little overall employment growth in Canada since August 2013.
On a year-over-year basis, the number of people working rose by 0.8% or 149,000, evenly split between part-time and full-time work.
Chart 1 Employment
In April, employment was down in Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and in Prince Edward Island, while it increased in Saskatchewan.
Employment declined among women aged 25 to 54 and youths aged 15 to 24, while it increased among women 55 and over.
In April, there were fewer people working in accommodation and food services, as well as finance, insurance, real estate and leasing. At the same time, employment increased in business, building and other support services.
The number of hours worked fell 1.1% on a year-over-year basis, driven by a decline in April 2014 as Good Friday fell in the survey reference week and a number of workers took extra vacation time that week.
Chart 2 Unemployment rate
From April 2013 to April 2014, the participation rate fell from 66.5% to 66.1%, mainly the result of a decline in the participation rate of the population aged 25 to 54, the group most likely to participate in the labour market.
Adjusted to US concepts, the unemployment rate in Canada was 6.0% in April, down 0.2 percentage points from 12 months earlier. In the United States, the rate fell 1.2 percentage points over the same period to 6.3%.
Employment declines in Quebec and most of Atlantic Canada
In Quebec, employment fell by 32,000 in April. Despite this decline, the unemployment rate remained at 7.6% as fewer people participated in the labour market. Compared with a year earlier, employment in this province was virtually unchanged.
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