Labour Force Survey: Highlights & Impact of Covid-19

Labour Force Survey, April 2022: Nova Scotia Highlights and Summary of Labour Impact of COVID-19


Employment in Nova Scotia increased by 5,900 in April and sat at a new record high. The unemployment rate dropped by 0.5 percentage points, reaching a record low of 6.0%. This issue of the Labour Market Information News monitors the key labour market indicators in April. The March Labour Force Survey references the week of April 10 to 16 and compares it to the week of March 13 to 19.

Snapshot of Nova Scotia’s Labour Market in April 2022(1)
Compared to March 2022

Blue box showing Labour Force: 512,100, -+3800 with a green arrow pointing up.

  • The labour force expanded by 0.7% to 512,100 – the highest on record, with 3,800 more people entering the labour market than leaving. The labour participation rate is up by 0.4 points from March, yet remains 1.2 percentage points lower than February 2020 (pre-pandemic).

Blue box showing Employment: 481,500, +5900 with a green arrow pointing up.

  • Nova Scotia’s employment level rebounded in April (+5,900 jobs, +1.2%) following a slight drop in March.  Full-time employment increased by 3,100 jobs (0.8%) and part-time employment grew by 2,900 jobs (+3.4%).

Blue box showing Unemployment Rate: 6.0%, -0.5 percentage points with a green arrow pointing down.

  • Nova Scotia’s unemployment rate fell by 0.5 points to 6.0% in April 2022, the lowest monthly level on record since 1976.  The previous record monthly low had been 6.5% and was observed on three separate occasions: March and May of 2019, and March 2022.

Blue box showing Employment Rate: 57.7%, +0.6 percentage points with a green arrow pointing up

  • The employment rate (number of employed as a proportion of the whole labour force population aged 15 and over) increased by 0.6 points to 57.7%; surpassing its pre-COVID level for the first time by 0.2 points.

Employment Recovery Progress in April 2022 from the Impact of COVID
Compared to March 2020

Two blue outlined boxes stacked on top of each other with the title Employment in Apr 2022 compared to Feb 2020 (pre-COVID). A black horizontal line divides the boxes in two, creating space for four bar charts with vertical bars. Chart one shows males = 9700 and females = 5400. Chart two shows age 15-24 = -2100; age 25-54 = 7500; age 55+ = 9800. Chart three shows full-time = 18300 and part-time = -3200. Chart four shows goods sector = 2500 and service sector = 12600.

  • Nova Scotia men lost 2,100 full-time jobs (-1.0%) but gained 4,500 part-time jobs (+14.9%) in April. On the contrary, Nova Scotia women gained 5,200 full-time jobs (+2.9%), while part-time positions were down by 1,800 (-3.3%). Both men and women have surpassed their pre-COVID employment levels.
  • Youths continue to represent the only age group that is yet to recover to pre-COVID employment levels. Youth employment increased by 3,300 in April            (+5.2%), now 2,100 jobs (-3.0%) lower than their pre-COVID level. Core-aged workers (aged 25-54) lost 900 jobs (-0.3%) while those over 55 gained 3.600 jobs      (+3.1%) in April.
  • Full-time employment increased in April (+3,100 jobs, +0.8%), and remained well above pre-COVID levels (+18,300 jobs, +4.9%). Part-time employment also increased in April (+2,900 jobs, +3.4%) yet remains 3,200 jobs lower (-3.5%) than February 2020.

Industry Impacts

  • Changes in employment levels by industry were mixed in April, led by “wholesale and retail trade” (+3,600 jobs, +5.1%) and “accommodation and food services” (+1,900 jobs, +6.8%). On the other hand, “manufacturing” is contracted by 2,700 jobs (-7.9%) followed by “construction” (-700 jobs, -1.8%), and “professional, scientific and technical services” (-700 jobs, -1.8%).

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 Apr 2022. Accommodation and food services = -7600, -20.3%. Wholesale and Retail Trade = -5300, -6.6%. Manufacturing = -3200, -9.2%.

  • “Manufacturing” replaced “information, culture and recreation” as one of the top 3 sectors that are furthest away from a full recovery due to the large employment contraction in April. It was down by nearly one-tenth of its pre-COVID level. The other top 2 sectors are “accommodation and food services”, still down by approximately one-fifth of its pre-COVID level, and “wholesale and retail trade” (see chart).

Economic Region

A blue outlined box containing a bar chart with horizontal lines showing vertically on the right and the region label on the left. Title: Employment Recovery Progress by Region, Feb 2020 to Apr 2022. Halifax = 10500, 4.5%; Southern = 100, 0.2%; Annapolis Valley = 6100, 10.9%; North Shore = -2400, -3.6%; and Cape Breton -1100, -2.1%.

*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.

Employment Level and Unemployment Rate

A blue outlined box containing a bar chart with vertical lines indicating the level of employment every month from Feb 2020 to Apr 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 Apr 2022. Feb 2020 metrics were employment = 467,000, unemployment rate = 8.0%. Apr 2022 metrics were employment = 481,500, unemployment rate = 6.0%.

  • After dropping slightly in March, the employment level in Nova Scotia rebounded in April, increasing by 5,900 jobs (+1.2%). The employment level is 15,100 (+3.2%) higher than the pre-COVID level.
  • The unemployment rate declined slightly for a sixth consecutive month to a historic low of 6.0%. It now sits 2.2 percentage points below the pre-COVID level. The employment rate increased by 0.6% to 57.7%, 0.2 points above its pre-COVID level.

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

A blue outlined box divided in half by the same style blue line with each half containing a bar chart. Chart on left is titled Unemployment Rate and is a horizontal bar chart showing Visible Minority = 6.4% and Not Indigenous or Visible Minority = 9.3%. Chart on right is titled Employment Rate and is a horizontal bar chart showing Visible Minority = 67.5% and Not Indigenous or Visible Minority = 53.0%.

  • 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 (67.5% vs 53.0%) on average in the last three months ending in April 2022.
  • Compared to last month, the employment rate of visible minorities increased by 0.8 points while the employment rate of people who are not visible minorities or indigenous people increased by 0.7 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. Arabs and Latin Americans face the highest unemployment rates (10.0% and 9.9%) while only 5.1% and 5.0% of Chinese and Blacks were unemployed in the last three months.
  • However, due to the relatively low participation rates of Chinese, they face the lowest employment rates (56.9%) among all visible minority groups, followed by Latin Americans (60.7%).

The next Labour Force Survey will be released on June 10th, covering the May labour market.

(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, April 2022 LFS population groups designated visible minorities.

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