Labour Force Survey: Nova Scotia Highlights
Labour Force Survey: April 2023 Nova Scotia Highlights
Employment in Nova Scotia increased in April by 1,300 jobs (+0.3%). The unemployment rate rose by 0.6 percentage points to 6.3%. This issue of the Labour Market Information News monitors the key labour market indicators in April. The April Labour Force Survey references the week of April 09 to 15 and compares it to the week of March 12 to 18.
Snapshot of Nova Scotia’s Labour Market in April 2023(1)
Compared to March 2023
- The labour force increased by 1.0% to 530,800, with 5,000 more people entering the labour market than leaving. The labour participation rate rose by 0.4 percentage points to 61.9% in April..
- Nova Scotia’s seasonally adjusted employment level increased by 0.3% in April (+1,300 jobs) with gains in full-time employment (+4,800 jobs, +1.2%), and losses in part-time jobs (-3,500, -3.8%). (Individuals switching between full-time and part-time status are also included in these statistics).
- Nova Scotia’s unemployment rate rose by 0.6 points to 6.3% in April – the highest it has been since reaching 6.2% in December 2022.The unemployment rate in Nova Scotia has averaged 10.2% since 1976.
- The employment rate (number of employed as a proportion of the whole labour force population aged 15 and over) stayed the same, at 58.0% in April.
Employment Data in April 2023
Compared to March 2023 and April 2022
- Employment levels in April were higher for Nova Scotian males (+1,200 jobs, +0.5%), and essentially unchanged for females. Employment gains for males were in full-time positions (+1,600, +0.8%), while part-time positions decreased (-300, -0.9%). The full-time employment level for females increased (+3,100, +1.6%), offset by part-time job losses (-3,200, -5.5%). While females surpassed their employment levels from a year ago by 5.1%, males had a drop of 1.0%.
- Youth (15-24 years) had employment gains (+1,100 jobs, +1.7%) in April. The employment level for older workers (55+) was up by 0.5% (+600 jobs), and core-aged workers (25 to 54 years) lost 400 positions (-0.1%).
- Full-time employment increased by 4,800 jobs (+1.2%) in April, and it was 2.0% above its April 2022 level (+8,200 jobs). Part-time employment decreased by 3,500 jobs (-3.8%) in April, but it was 1.7% higher (+1,500 jobs) compared with April 2022.
- The services-producing sector gained 2,300 jobs in April (+0.6%), while employment in the goods-producing sector dropped by 1,000 positions (-1.1%). The top expanding industries were “wholesale and retail trade” (+2,000, +2.6%), “agriculture” (+1,100, +25.0%), and “health care & social assistance” (+1,100, +1.4%). The industries that lost the most jobs in April: “construction” (-1,300, -3.5%) and “professional, scientific and technical services” (-1,200, -3.1%).
- Compared to April of last year, employment gains were largest in the “wholesale & retail trade” industry (+4,000, +5.4%). This was followed by “information, culture & recreation” (+3,400, +22.1%), and “accommodation & food services” (+2,200, +7.8%).
- Employment declines compared to a year earlier were largest in the “construction” (-4,000 jobs, -9.5%), followed by “business, building & other support services” (-2,800, -13.7%), and “utilities” (-1,000, -23.3%).
*The regional statistics is a 3-month moving average and is seasonally unadjusted. Therefore, it is not comparable to the statistics used in the rest of the report and may show a delay in data demonstrating sudden impacts to labour.
- In April (three-month average from February to April) compared to March (January to March), three of the five economic regions posted job gains – Halifax (+1,100 jobs, +0.4%), the North Shore region (+900 jobs, +1.4%), and Southern region (+300, +0.6%). The remaining two regions lost 300 jobs each, as employment was lower in the Cape Breton (-0.6%) and Annapolis Valley (-0.5%) regions.
- Compared with one year ago (February 2022 to April 2022), four out of five regions posted employment gains, while the Cape Breton region lost jobs.(2)
Employment Level and Unemployment Rate
- The employment level in Nova Scotia increased by +0.3% in April, following a decrease of 0.2% in March. The employment rate stayed the same at 58.0% in April. The employment rate remains higher in comparison with recent history, as it has averaged 56.5% in Nova Scotia over the past decade.
- The unemployment rate increased by 0.6 points and landed at 6.3% in April. When compared against historical Labour Force Survey data going back to 1976, Nova Scotia’s unemployment rate remains very low.
Nova Scotia Monthly Unemployment Rates, by Sex and Age
- The overall youth (aged 15-24) unemployment rate fell by 0.9 percentage points between March and April to 10.8%.
- The female youth unemployment rate went up by 1.7 percentage points in April, while the male youth unemployment went down by 4.4 percentage points.
- The female youth unemployment rate was lower than one year ago (down by 3.1 percentage points), while the male youth unemployment rate was 1.0 percentage point higher.
- The unemployment rate for females aged 25 and over was 0.1 percentage points higher than a year ago, compared to an increase of 0.9 percentage points for males aged 25 and over
Labour Market Outcomes of Visible Minorities in Atlantic Canada in April 2023(3)
- The employment rate (number of employed for the entire labour force population 15 and over) for visible minorities in Atlantic Canada was higher than for non-visible minorities (68% vs 53.9%) on average in the last three months ending in April 2023.
- Compared to March (3-month average from January to March) the employment rate of visible minorities increased by 0.1 percentage point, while the employment rate of people who are not visible minorities or Indigenous increased by 0.3 percentage points in Atlantic Canada.
- It is worth noting that aggregate data masks the fact that visible minorities and indigenous people face additional labour market barriers.
- There are large gaps among different visible minority groups. Among the groups with available data(4), Blacks face the highest unemployment rates (11.9%), while only 3.9% of South Asians and 4.6% of Chinese were unemployed in the last three months.
- Due to the relatively low participation rate of Arabs, they face the lowest employment rate among all visible minority groups for whom data was reported (53.1%). Blacks had the second-lowest employment rate over the period at 60.6%.
The next Labour Force Survey will be released on June 9th, 2023, covering the May 2023 labour market.
Labour Force Survey Glossary
Employment: Employed persons are those who, during the reference week, did any work for pay or profit or had a job and were absent from work.
Employment rate (employment/population ratio): Number of employed persons expressed as a percentage of the population 15 years of age and over. The employment rate for a particular group (for example, one defined by age, sex, marital status, or province) is the number employed in that group expressed as a percentage of the population for that group.
Labour force: Civilian non-institutional population 15 years of age and over who, during the survey reference week, were employed or unemployed. Prior to 1966, persons aged 14 and over were covered by the survey.
Participation rate: Total labour force expressed as a percentage of the population aged 15 years and over. The participation rate for a particular group (for example, women aged 25 years and over) is the labour force of that group expressed as a percentage of the population for that group.
Unemployment: Unemployed persons are those who, during reference week, were without work, were available for work and were either on temporary layoff, had looked for work in the past four weeks or had a job to start within the next four weeks.
Unemployment rate: Number of unemployed persons expressed as a percentage of the labour force. The unemployment rate for a particular group (for example, one defined by age, sex, or marital status) is the number of unemployed persons in that group expressed as a percentage of the labour force for that same group.
Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey Guide
(1) Source: Statistics Canada, Table 14-10-0287-01, Adjusted for Seasonality, Both Sexes, Ages 15+.
(2) Source: Statistics Canada, Table 14-10-0388-01, three-month moving average, unadjusted for seasonality.
(3) Source: Statistics Canada, Table: 14-10-0373-01, three-month moving average, unadjusted for seasonality. Starting in March 2022, the Monthly Labour Force Survey started to report labour market indicators of visible minority groups averaged over the last three-month period instead of monthly indicators.
(4) Data for West Asian, Korean, and Japanese minority groups are available at the Canada level only.
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