Labour Force Survey: Highlights & Impact of Covid-19

Labour Force Survey, August 2022: Nova Scotia Highlights and Summary of Labour Impact of COVID

Overview

Employment in Nova Scotia decreased by 1.1% in August 2022 (-5,200 jobs). The unemployment rate increased by 1.7 percentage points to 7.6%. This issue of the Labour Market Information News monitors the key labour market indicators in August. The September Labour Force Survey references the week of August 14 to 20 and compares it to the week of July 10 to 16.

Snapshot of Nova Scotia’s Labour Market in August 2022(1)
Compared to July 2022

 

A blue box with rounded corners. The left side of the box has “Labour Force 514,900” in white font. The right side of the box has a white arrow pointing up with +3,800 in black font inside the arrow.

 

  • The labour force expanded by 0.7% to 514,900, with 3,800 more people entering the labour market than leaving. The labour participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 61.0% yet remained 1.6 percentage points lower than February 2020 (pre-pandemic).

 

Blue box with rounded corners showing Employment: 475,900 in white font with a white arrow pointing down and -5,200 inside the arrow in black font. Full-time 399,200 in white font with a white arrow pointing up and +6,700 inside the arrow in black font. Part-time 76,700 in white font with a white arrow pointing down and -11,900 inside the arrow in black font.

 

  • Nova Scotia’s employment level fell by 1.1% in August 2022 (-5,200 jobs), attributable to a large drop in part-time employment (-11,900 jobs, -13.4%) that was partially offset by a smaller gain in full-time employment (+6,700 jobs, +1.7%).

 

Blue box with rounded corners showing Unemployment Rate: 7.6% in white font and a white arrow pointing up with +1.7 percentage points inside the arrow in black font.

 

  • Nova Scotia’s unemployment rate increased by 1.7 percentage points to 7.6% in August, following July’s reading of 5.9%, which was the lowest level in the history of modern Labour Force survey.

Blue box with rounded corners showing Employment Rate: 56.4% in white font and a white arrow pointing down with -0.8points inside the arrow in black font.

  • The employment rate (number of employed as a proportion of the whole labour force population aged 15 and over) was down by 0.8 percentage points in August to 56.4%. The employment rate was 1.1 points lower than its pre-pandemic level (57.5%), with April 2022 being the only month that surpassed that level.

Employment Recovery Progress in August 2022 from the Impact of COVID
Compared to February 2020

 

Two blue outlined boxes stacked on top of each other with the title Employment in Aug 2022 compared to Feb 2020 (pre-COVID). A gray horizontal line divides the boxes in two, creating space for four bar charts with vertical bars. Chart one shows males = 5100 and females = 4400. Chart two shows age 15-24 = -3500; age 25-54 = 3000; age 55+ = 10100. Chart three shows full-time = 23400 and part-time = -13900. Chart four shows goods sector = 2200 and service sector = 7300.

 

  • Nova Scotia men (-2,700 jobs, -1.1%) and women (-2,500 jobs, -1.0%) both experienced declines in employment levels in August. Women gained more full-time jobs (+5,200, +2.9%) than men (+1,600, +0.8%), but the drop in women’s part-time positions (-7,600, -12.8%) was greater than among men (-4,400, -15.0%) in the past month.  Both men and women continue to surpass their pre-COVID employment levels by 2.2% and 1.9% respectively.
  • Youth aged 15-24 lost 2,000 jobs in August     (-2.9%), widening the gap with its pre-pandemic employment level to 5.1% (3,500 jobs lower). Core-aged workers (aged 25-54) lost 2,900 jobs (-1.0%) while those over 55 lost 200 jobs (-0.2%) in August.
  • Full-time employment rose by 6,700 jobs (+1.7%) in August. It is now 6.2% above its pre-COVID level (+23,400 jobs). Part-time employment was 11,900 jobs lower in August (-13.4%), widening the gap with pre-COVID levels to 13,900 jobs lower (-15.3%).
  • The goods sector lost 3,100 jobs in August     (-3.3%) while the service sector was 2,100 jobs lower (-0.5%). The top expanding industries were “forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas” (+2,100 jobs, +28.8%) and “transportation and warehousing” (+1,100 jobs, +5.4%). The industries that lost the most jobs were “educational services” (-3,200 jobs,   -8.1%) and “construction” (-3,100 jobs, -7.2%).


Industry Impacts

 

A blue outlined box containing a bar chart with the blue bars showing vertically on the left and industry title on the right. Chart title: Top impacted industries by employment loss, Feb 2020 to Aug 2022. Wholesale and retail trade = -8400, -10.6%. Accommodation and food services = -7500, -19.3%. Manufacturing = -1900, -1.2%.

 

Economic Region

 

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 Recovery Progress by Region, Feb 2020 to Aug 2022. Halifax = 21800, 9.4%; Southern = 700, 1.4%; Annapolis Valley = 6300, 11.3%; North Shore = 900, 1.3%; and Cape Breton 3800, 7.4%.

 

*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 August (three-month moving average from June to August) compared to July (May to July), employment growth was led by Cape Breton with 800 jobs gained (+1.5%). All other regions registered job losses, led by the Southern region with a decline of 1,300 jobs (-2.6%), although the  Halifax region was essentially unchanged (-100 jobs, - <0.1%).
  • Compared to pre-COVID levels, Halifax and Annapolis Valley led the employment recovery with the highest gains in employment. All of Nova Scotia’s economic regions are now above pre-pandemic levels of employment.(2) It is worth noting that a comparison with pre-COVID levels fails to account for the foregone growth during the pandemic period.

Employment Level and Unemployment Rate

 

A blue outlined box containing a bar chart with vertical lines indicating the level of employment every second month from Feb 2020 to Aug 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, Feb 2020 to Aug 2022. Feb 2020 metrics were employment = 467,000, unemployment rate = 8.0%. Aug 2022 metrics were employment = 475,900, unemployment rate = 7.6%.

 

  • The employment level in Nova Scotia fell by 1.1% in August, following a small increase in July. The employment level is 9,500 (+2.0%) higher than the pre-COVID level.
  • The unemployment rate increased by 1.7 percentage points to 7.6% in August, following July’s measurement of 5.9% (a record low for the modern Labour Force survey). It now sits 0.6 percentage points below the pre-COVID level. The employment rate fell by 0.8 points to 56.4% in July and is below its pre-COVID level by 1.1 points.

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

 

A blue outlined box titled Employment rate. Two blue horizontal bars represent the employment rate. The left bar is labeled Visible Minorities = 72.%. The right bar is labeled Not a visible minority = 56.3%.

 

 

  • 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 (72.0% vs 56.3%) on average in the last three months ending in August 2022.
  • Compared to July (3-month moving average from June to July) the employment rate of visible minorities increased by 0.2 points while the employment rate of people who are not visible minorities or indigenous people decreased by 0.2 points in Atlantic Canada.

 

A blue outlined box titled Unemployment rate. Two blue horizontal bars represent the unemployment rate. The left bar is labeled Visible Minorities = 7.1%. The right bar is labeled Not a visible minority = 7.1%.

 

  • 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. Latin Americans face the highest unemployment rates (20.5%), while only 4.2% of Filipinos and 4.8% of Blacks were unemployed in the last three months.
  • Due to the relatively low participation rates of Latin Americans and Chinese, they face the lowest employment rates among all visible minority groups (51.2% and 65.5%, respectively).

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.

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