Nova Scotia’s overall employment levels have stayed about the same as pre-recession levels of 2008/2009. Changing demographics are largely behind the pattern of employment growth observed in the different age groups over the last few years. Most of the employment growth in the Nova Scotia labour market has been in older workers aged 55 years and over. Employment for older workers increased 41% since 2007 while it fell 6% and 14% for middle-aged workers and youth respectively. The employment declines for those aged 54 years and below can partly be attributed to population declines within this age group. The population for middle aged workers declined 7% while it declined 6% for youth aged 15 to 24 years during the same period, 2007 to 2014. As result of employment declining faster than population, employment rates for youth fell from 58% in 2007 to 53% in 2014. Conversely, employment rates for middle aged workers slightly increased from 79% to 80% and increased for older workers from 27% to 32%.

Change in Employment by age
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey (LFS), CANSIM Table 282-0002, Accessed April, 2015.  (Data)


After equaling male employment in 2013, female employment declined by 3,400 jobs (-1.5%) in 2014 compared to 2013. Male employment also declined by 1,600 (-0.7%) jobs during the same period. There continues to be differences in the types of industries in which males and females are employed. In 2014, 9 out of 10 females and 2 out of 3 males were employed in the service-producing sector as opposed to the goods-producing sector. There are also gender differences in the participation of males and females in part-time and full-time work. In 2014, a higher percentage of males (88 percent) were employed full-time compared to 75 percent of females. The higher job losses for females in 2014 are partially explained by a higher overall loss in part-time jobs as females hold 2 out of 3 of all part-time jobs. In 2014, part-time jobs declined by 3,900 (-4.4%) and full-time jobs dropped by 1,100 (-0.7%) compared to 2013. Most part-time jobs can be found in the service sector (93% in 2014).  While females had a higher overall job loss than males, there was an increase of 300 full-time jobs and a loss of 3,700 part-time jobs for females in 2014 compared to 2013. Additionally, males experienced declines in both full-time jobs (-1,400) and part-time jobs (-200) during the same period. 

Employment by Gender
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey (LFS), CANSIM Table 282-0008, Accessed April, 2015.  (Data)


Employment Type

Employment in Nova Scotia declined overall by 5,000 (-1.1%) in 2014.  With a greater proportion of losses in part-time employment compared to full-time employment, the percentage of full-time jobs in the province increased by 0.7 percentage points to 81%.  Part-time employment can either be voluntary or in-voluntary. Someone may be voluntarily employed part-time because they are in school, or have other reasons or personal preferences. Involuntary part-time is a result of being employed part-time due to business conditions or not being able to find work which offers full-time hours. A higher percentage of part-time job losses (57%) were in-voluntary part-time positions as opposed to voluntary part-time. Overall, involuntary part-time was 5.9% and voluntary part-time was 12.9% of all jobs in the province in 2014.

full-time vs part-time employment
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey (LFS), CANSIM Table 282-0014, Accessed April, 2015 (Data)