Labour Force Survey: Highlights & Impact of Covid-19
Labour Force Survey, August 2021: Nova Scotia Highlights and Summary of Labour Impact of COVID-19
August saw Nova Scotians’ combined effort and success in containing the spread of COVID-19. With vaccination rate still below the target 75%, Nova Scotia remained in Phase 4 of the reopening plan. The economy continued to recover and expand within the health restrictions.
This issue of the Labour Market Information News monitors the recovery progress in August. The September Labour Force Survey references the week of August 15 to 21 and compares it to the week of July 11 to 17 (during which Phase 4 came into effect).
Snapshot of Nova Scotia’s Labour Market in August 2021(1)
Compared to July 2021
- Labour force edged up to 504,600, with 1,300 more people entering the labour market. The overall labour participation is still 1.1 percentage points lower than February 2020 with a wider gap observed among youth (-4.4 points).
- Employment continued to grow by 0.8% (3,900 jobs) with gains of 5,300 part-time jobs and losses of 1,500 full-time jobs. Compared to its pre-COVID levels, the employment level is short of 1,900 jobs (-0.4%).
- Nova Scotia’s unemployment rate dropped another 0.6 percentage points in August to 7.8%, dipping below its pre-COVID level for the first time in 18 months.
- The employment rate (number of employed for the whole labour force population 15 and over) rose by 0.4 points in August, still 0.9 points lower than its pre-COVID level.
Employment Recovery Progress in August 2021 from the Impact of COVID
Compared to February 2020
- All the recovery in the last month lies in part-time employment (5,300 jobs, +6.0%), which brought part-time employment over its pre-COVID level for the first time. Full-time employment, however, was still 1.3% lower than its pre-COVID level.
- Male employment almost reached a full recovery while female employment was still 0.7% down. Moreover, the recovery of male employment was concentrated in full-time positions (+2.2%) while women’s full-time employment was still 13% lower than its pre-COVID level.
- Proportionally speaking, youth employment is still the furthest away from full recovery. It was down by 3,800 jobs (-5.5%) while core-aged workers (aged 25-54) was down by 2.2% and older workers surpassed its pre-COVID level by 7.6%.
- All goods sectors except for “Utilities” contracted in August, losing 1,600 jobs in total. On the other hand, mixed results were found in service sectors. Notably, “Professional, scientific and technical services” and “Educational services” experienced moderate growth in August (+9.6% & +8.3%) while “Accommodation and food services” and “Transportation and warehousing” contracted by 6.6% and 3.3% respectively.
- The employment levels of “Accommodation and food services”, “Wholesale and retail trade”, and “Information, culture and recreation” remain the furthest away from their pre-COVID levels (see chart).
- All economic regions in Nova Scotia surpassed their pre-COVID employment levels for the first time since February 2020.(2)
*Note: The regional statistics is 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.
- Halifax again took the lead in the recovery progress across the province in August after losing more jobs proportionally from the third wave than other regions.
- The recovery progress in Cape Breton picked up its pace in the last couple of months and brought its employment above the pre-COVID level. However, its recovery still lags behind in that compared to other regions (see chart).
Employment Level and Unemployment Rate
- Nova Scotia kept its recovery momentum as the economy was several weeks into Phase 4 reopening.
- The unemployment rate returned to below pre-COVID levels while the employment is almost fully recovered (-0.4%). However, with population continously growing, the employment rate was still 0.9 point lower than pre-COVID level.
Labour Market Outcomes of Visible Minorities in Atlantic Canada in August 2021(3)
- The employment rate (number of employed for the whole labour force population 15 and over) for visible minorities in Atlantic Canada was higher than for non-visible minorities (74.5% vs 66.3%) in August 2021.
- Compared to last month, the employment rates of visible minorities rose by 1 percentage point while the employment rates of people who are not visible minorities or indigenous people rose by 0.6 points in Atlantic Canada.
The next Labour Force Survey will be released on October 8th, covering the August 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, August 2021 LFS population groups designated visible minorities.