Little change in February unemployment figures
CBJ - March 14 - A decline in the number of people searching for work pushed the unemployment rate down 0.2 percentage points to 7.4 per cent, according to Statistics Canada. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment was up by 121,000 (0.7 per cent), with the bulk of the increase occurring in the first half of the period.
There was little change in full-time and part-time employment in February. Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of full-time workers was up 1.5 per cent (204,000), while part-time employment declined 2.5 per cent (-83,000). At the same time, the total number of hours worked grew 1.7 per cent, with all of the increase occurring in the first half of the period.
Employment for the month declined in the retail and wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, health care and social assistance, and public administration. These declines were offset by increases in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing, educational services, and business, building and other support services.
Employment in the retail and wholesale trade fell by 37,000 in February. The trend in this industry has been relatively flat over the past three years, with employment fluctuating between 2.6 million and 2.7 million over the period.
Provincially, there was little employment change in February, with the exception of a decline in New Brunswick. Employment in February fell among youths aged 15 to 24, while it increased among people aged 55 and over. For those aged 25 to 54, employment was unchanged.
Employment was little changed among employees and the self-employed. Compared with 12 months earlier, all of the growth was among private sector employees (1.4 per cent), while both self-employment (-0.7 per cent) and public sector employment (-0.5 per cent) were down slightly.
The number of people working in transportation and warehousing declined by 22,000, bringing employment in this industry to a level similar to that of 12 months earlier. Health care and social assistance also posted a decline in employment, down 22,000 as well, leaving employment in this industry at its level of 12 months earlier. Employment in public administration declined by 15,000 in February.