Employment stats up in February, particularly among older male workers

According to Statistics Canada’s latest Labour Force Survey, employment rose by 21,000 in February, with large gains in full-time work partly offset by losses in part time. The unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage points to 8.2 per cent in February.

Employment has been on an upward trend since July 2009 (+159,000). This contrasts with the sharp drop of 417,000 between the peak in October 2008 and July 2009.

Underlying February's employment change was a notable gain in full-time work (+60,000), which was partially offset by a decline in part time (-39,000). Since the summer of 2009, employment growth has been all in full time.

Men aged 55 and over accounted for all of February's employment gain.

February's increase was among public sector employees (+46,000). Compared with the summer of 2009, the number of public and private sector employees has risen, while self-employment has edged down.

Employment increases in February occurred in accommodation and food services; business, building and other support services; manufacturing; health care and social assistance; and natural resources. These gains were partially offset by losses in retail and wholesale trade; finance, insurance, real estate and leasing; and "other services."

In February, employment increased in British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan, while it declined in Alberta. There was little change in the other provinces.

Employment up among older workers
Employment for men and women aged 55 and over has been trending up for a number of years, the result of employment growth combined with more people moving into that age group.
Continuing on an upward trend sustained throughout the labour market downturn, employment for men aged 55 and over increased by 26,000 in February. This pushed the unemployment rate for this group down 0.6 percentage points to 7.1 per cent.

However, employment for women aged 55 and over was little changed in February, and their unemployment rate was 5.7 per cent.

Employment was also little changed for core-age workers (those aged 25 to 54) and youth in February. Since July 2009, employment has stabilized among core-age men and youths, whereas it has increased among core-age women.

For further details on the latest labour force stats, click here.