Labour Force Survey: Nova Scotia Highlights

Labour Force Survey: Nova Scotia Highlights 

Overview

Employment in Nova Scotia increased slightly in December by 700 jobs (+0.1%). The unemployment rate rose to 6.7% by 0.7 percentage points. This issue of the Labour Market Information News monitors the key labour market indicators in December. The December Labour Force Survey references the week of December 4 to 10 and compares it to the week of November 6 to 12.

Snapshot of Nova Scotia’s Labour Market in December 2022(1)
Compared to November 2022

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A blue box with rounded corners. The left side of the box has “Labour Force 518,100” in white font. The right side of the box has a white arrow pointing up with +4,500 in black font inside the arrow.
  • The labour force expanded by 0.9% to 513,600, with 4,500 more people entering the labour market than leaving. The labour participation rate rose by 0.5 percentage points to 61% in December.
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Blue box with rounded corners showing Employment: 483,200 in white font with a white arrow pointing up and +700 inside the arrow in black font. Full-time 403,100 in white font with a white arrow pointing down and -1,000 inside the arrow in black font. Part-time 80,100 in white font with a white arrow pointing up and +1,700 inside the arrow in black font.
  • Nova Scotia’s seasonally adjusted employment level expanded marginally by 0.1% in December (+700 jobs) as the gains in part-time employment (+2.2%) were partially offset by the loss in full-time positions (-0.2%).
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Blue box with rounded corners showing Unemployment Rate: 6.7% in white font and a white arrow pointing up with +0.7 points inside the arrow in black font
  • Nova Scotia’s unemployment rate rose to 6.7% by 0.7 percentage points, back to the October level after a dip in November. It is still within the low range that Nova Scotia has seen in the last 40 years.
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Blue box with rounded corners showing Employment Rate: 56.8% in white font and unchanged on the right in white font.
  • The employment rate (number of employed as a proportion of the whole labour force population aged 15 and over) remained unchanged at 56.8% in December.

Employment Data in December 2022 
Compared to November 2022 and December 2021

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Two blue outlined boxes stacked on top of each other with the title Employment in Dec 2022 compared to Dec 2021. A gray horizontal line divides the boxes in two, creating space for four bar charts with vertical bars. Chart one shows males = 6800 and females = 6400. Chart two shows age 15-24 = -900; age 25-54 = 12300; age 55+ = 1800. Chart three shows full-time = 20200 and part-time = -6900. Chart four shows goods sector = 3600 and service sector = 7600.
  • Employment levels in December were lower for Nova Scotia men (-1,100 jobs, -0.5%) and higher for women (+1,700 jobs, +0.7%).  Men lost 3,200 full-time jobs (-1.5%) while women gained 2,200 full-time positions (+1.2%). Men gained 2,100 part-time jobs (+7.5%) while women were down by 500 part-time jobs (-1.0%). Both men and women surpassed their employment levels from a year ago by 2.9% and 2.7% respectively.
  • Youth (aged 15-24) led employment gains in December. They gained 1,700 jobs (+2.7%) while core-aged workers (aged 25-54) and those over 55 lost 700 jobs (-0.2%) and 400 jobs (-0.3%) respectively. However, youth employment is yet still 900 jobs (-1.4%) lower compared to a year ago.
  • Full-time employment dropped by 1,000 jobs (-0.2%) in December. It is 5.3% above its December 2021 level (+20,200 jobs). Part-time employment rose by 1,700 jobs (+2.2%) in December and remains 6,900 jobs lower than a year prior (-7.9%).
  • The goods-producing sector lost 1,900 jobs in December (-2.0%) while the services-producing sector added 2,500 jobs (+0.6%). The top expanding industries were “professional, scientific and technical services” (+1,400, +3.8%), “transportation and warehousing” (+1,200, +5.9%), and “construction” (+900, +2.3%). The industries that lost the most jobs were “manufacturing” (-2,000, -5.9%), “accommodation and food services” (-1,100, -3.8%), and “business, building and other support services” (-900, -5.0%).


Industry Impacts

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A blue outlined box containing a bar chart with the blue bars showing vertically on the left and the industry title on the right. Chart title: Top industries by employment gain, Dec 2021 to Dec 2022. Construction = 5400, 15.8%. Health care and social assistance = 5000, 7.3%. Public administration = 2500, 3.9%.
  • Compared to December of last year,  employment gains were largest in the  “construction” sector (+5,400, +15.8%). This was followed by “health care and social assistance” (+5,000, +7.3%), and “public administration” (+2,500, +3.9%).
  • Employment losses compared to a year earlier were largest in the “transportation and warehousing” sector (-5,400, -13.0%), followed by “wholesale and retail trade” (-2,900, -1.6%), and “agriculture” (-2,700, -40.9%).

Economic Region

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A blue outlined box containing a bar chart with horizontal lines showing vertically on the left and the region label on the right. Title: Employment Change by Economic Region, Dec 2021 to Dec 2022. Halifax = 11000, 4.5%; Southern = 3600, 7.4% Annapolis Valley = 2800, 4.7%; North Shore = -5400, -7.9%; and Cape Breton 900, 1.8%.

*Note: The regional statistics is a 3-month moving average and seasonally unadjusted. Therefore, it is not comparable to the statistics used in the rest of the report and there is a delay in data showing the impact of lockdown.

  • In December (three-month average from October to December) compared to November (September to November), only  Southern (+900, +1.8%) and Cape Breton (500, +1.0%) regions posted job gains. Halifax retained its employment level while the remaining regions registered job losses, led by the North Shore region with a decline of 1,100 jobs (-1.7%), followed by the Annapolis Valley (-600, -1.0%) regions.
  • Compared with one year ago (October to December 2021), all regions except for the North Shore region posted employment gains.(2)

Employment Level and Unemployment Rate

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A blue outlined box containing a bar chart with vertical lines indicating the level of employment every second month from Dec 2020 to Dec 2022 and a horizontal orange line showing the unemployment rate trend. Employment is labeled on the left axis and the unemployment rate on the right access. Chart Title: Employment Level and Unemployment Rate Nova Scotia, Dec 2020 to Dec 2022. Dec 2020 metrics were employment = 454,300, unemployment rate = 9.0%. Dec 2022 metrics were employment = 483,200, unemployment rat
  • The employment level in Nova Scotia rose by 0.1% in December, following an increase of 0.3% in November. The employment rate remained unchanged at 56.8% in December.
  • The unemployment rate rose by 0.7 percentage points to 6.7% in December, still within the low range of unemployment rates that Nova Scotia has seen in the last 40 years.

Nova Scotia Monthly Unemployment Rates, by Gender and Age

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A table with the following columns from left to right: unemployment rate, Dec 2021, Nov 2022, Dec 2022, M/M change, Y/Y change. The rows listed under unemployment rate are: 15 to 24 years, Men 15 to 24 years, Women 15 to 24 years, 25 years and over, Men 25 years and over, Women 25 years and over.
  • The overall youth unemployment rate rose 0.9 percentage points from November to December and reached 13.4%. The male youth unemployment rate remained unchanged at 13.1% in December, while the female youth unemployment rate rose by 1.7 percentage points.

Labour Market Outcomes of Visible Minorities in Atlantic Canada in December 2022(3)

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A blue outlined box titled Employment rate. Two blue vertical bars represent the employment rate. The left bar is labeled Visible Minorities = 69.4%. The right bar is labeled Not a visible minority = 54.6%.
  • 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 (69.4% vs 54.6%) on average in the last three months ending in December 2022.
  • Compared to November (3-month average from September to November) the employment rate of visible minorities rose by 0.4 points while the employment rate of people who are not visible minorities or indigenous people dropped by 0.5 points in Atlantic Canada.
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A blue outlined box titled Unemployment rate. Two blue vertical bars represent the unemployment rate. The left bar is labeled Visible Minorities = 5.8%. The right bar is labeled Not a visible minority = 7.0%.
  • 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), Southeast Asians face the highest unemployment rates (10.3%), while only 3.6% of Filipinos and 2.7% of South Asians were unemployed in the last three months.
  • Due to the relatively low participation rates of Blacks and Chinese, they face the lowest employment rates among all visible minority groups for whom data was reported (66.8% and 61.7%, respectively).

The next Labour Force Survey will be released on February 10th, 2023, covering the January 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 not available for Arab, Latin American, West Asian, Korean, and Japanese minority groups.

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