Following three consecutive months of little change, employment increased by 81,000 in August, largely in part-time work. The unemployment rate remained at 5.7% as more people participated in the labour market.
Compared with August 2018, employment increased by 471,000 (+2.5%), the result of gains in both full- (+306,000 or +2.0%) and part-time work (+165,000 or +4.8%). Over the same period, hours worked were up 1.2%.
Chart Unemployment rate
The bulk of the employment increase in August was in Ontario and Quebec. There were also smaller gains in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. Employment held steady in the other provinces.
The number of private sector employees increased in August, more than offsetting the decline in July.
There were more people employed in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing; educational services; and in professional, scientific and technical services. In contrast, employment declined in business, building and other support services.
There were more youths aged 15 to 24 and people aged 55 and over working in August.
Employment up in five provinces, led by Ontario
Following two months of little change, employment in Ontario increased by 58,000 in August, all in part-time work. Employment gains were led by wholesale and retail trade. The unemployment rate in the province was little changed at 5.6%. Compared with August 2018, employment in Ontario grew by 250,000 (+3.5%), partly due to employment being at a relatively low point in August 2018. The year-over-year employment gains were in both full- and part-time work.
Employment in Quebec rose for the second consecutive month, up 20,000 in August. There were gains in a number of industries, led by finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing. The unemployment rate was little changed at 4.7%, the lowest rate in the province since comparable data became available in 1976, and the lowest among all provinces in August. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in Quebec increased by 112,000 (+2.6%).
In Manitoba, the number of people employed rose by 5,200, the first notable increase since the start of 2019. The unemployment rate was little changed at 5.6% as more Manitobans participated in the labour market. The employment increase in August brought year-over-year gains to 5,600 (+0.9%).
Employment in Saskatchewan increased by 2,800 in August, lowering the unemployment rate to 5.1% (-0.3 percentage points). Compared with August 2018, employment in the province rose by 13,000 (+2.2%), with gains distributed in a number of industries in the service-producing sector.
In New Brunswick, there were 2,300 more people working in August, partly offsetting the decline in July. The unemployment rate was little changed at 8.6%. Employment in the province was also little changed compared with 12 months earlier.
While employment was little changed in all other provinces in August, the unemployment rate increased in both British Columbia and Nova Scotia. The unemployment rate rose 0.6 percentage points to 5.0% in British Columbia and 0.5 percentage points to 7.9% in Nova Scotia as more people searched for work in each province.