Nova Scotia Labour Force Survey : Annual Highlights
Labour Force Survey, 2021: Nova Scotia Annual Highlights
- Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which wreaked havoc on Nova Scotia’s labour market, the province rebounded in 2021 both in terms of employment levels and labour force expansion.
- Nova Scotia’s labour force increased from 487,300 in 2020 to 506,000 in 2021 (+3.8%), the largest year-over-year increase in 37 years.
- Nova Scotia experienced 23,800 job gains for all of 2021, a record 5.4% increase from 2020 with gains of 15,700 full-time jobs and 8,100 part-time jobs.
- The participation rate and employment rate, which are key labour market indicators, also experienced record increases dating back to the modern history of the Labour Force Survey (1976).
- 61.6% of Nova Scotians aged 15 and over participated in the labour market in 2021, up by 1.7 percentage points from 2020.
- As a result of a higher participation rate and a lower unemployment rate, Nova Scotia’s employment rate for those age 15 and over in 2021 was 56.4%, up by 2.4 percentage points from 2020.
- The employment recovery in 2021 is unevenly distributed among demographic groups and industries.
- Youth (aged 15-24) gained 5,700 jobs (+9.8%), the largest increase among all age groups. The youth labour participation rate also rebounded and was 3.8 percentage points higher compared to 2020.
- Nova Scotia women gained more jobs than men in 2020 (+12,700 versus +11,000 jobs gained). However, job gains for men were mostly concentrated in full-time positions (+8,800 full-time, +2,300 part-time), whereas among women gains were spread more evenly (+6,900 full-time, +5,800 part-time).
- The industries with the largest employment gains in 2021 are “transportation and warehousing” (+5,400 jobs, +28.7%), “professional, scientific, and technical services” (+5,400 jobs, +18.3%) and “health care and social assistance” (+3,000 jobs, +4.2%).
- As the largest population center in NS, Halifax accounts for half of the provincial labour force and employment. Approximately half of the jobs gained during the economic recovery of 2021 were in the Halifax region (+11,900 jobs, +5.2%).
- In terms of percentage increases, the North Shore (+5,200 jobs, +8.2%) and Annapolis
Valley (+4,300 jobs, +8.1%) regions led the province, followed by the Southern region (+2,700 jobs, +5.7%). The only economic region to register a year-over-year decrease in employment was Cape Breton, which experienced a decrease of 400 jobs (-0.8%).