Labour Market Outlook

2020 Labour Market Forecast

Labour Market Outlook, 2020 to 2021, Nova Scotia

Population growth will continue to increase the province’s labour force, even if by a much smaller amount than in recent years. The working age population is expected to increase by 163 (0.02%) in 2021 from 2020, while the labour force is estimated to increase by 4,600 (1.0%) and employment is expected to grow by 12,900 (2.9%) jobs.

The expectation of a growing labour force and employment gains suggests that the provincial unemployment rate will decrease from 9.8% in 2020 to 8.1% in 2021.  The labour force participation rate is not expected to change much from the current level and is estimated at 60.9% in 2021.

Long-Term Labour Market Forecast

Employment Outlook, 2016 to 2021, Nova Scotia Ages 15 year and over

Nova Scotia’s total population grew by over 40,000 since 2015, reaching the province’s all time high of 979,351 in 2020. Rising international and interprovincial migration have increased the population make up for natural population change.

Nova Scotia’s labour force and employment is expected to continue to grow. Employment growth, notably in full-time jobs, was growing since 2016 until the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019 the unemployment rate fell below 7.5 percent. The total value of compensation for labour, including wages, salaries, and employers’ social contribution, was slightly positive in 2020, which is unexpected given the job losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unemployment Rates, Nova Scotia, September 2010 to 2020

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