Working-age employment hits 40-year high in September


The share of people aged 15 to 64 years old with jobs hit 74.7 per cent, the highest rate since 1976, the first year for which Statistics Canada has comparable data. The agency’s Labour Force Survey showed the national unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 per cent, a 0.2 percentage point month-over-month reduction. The public-sector workforce and self-employment rose in September while the private-business staff count fell, although it is still up 2.3 per cent compared to 2018. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Ontario and Quebec account for almost all the job gains over the last year. That follows the industry trends in employment. The health-care and social-assistance and accommodation and food-services sectors saw the largest increases in September (30,000 and 23,000, respectively), and larger provincial populations mean more people to serve. There were conflicting signs in the innovation economy. While STEM workers are doing well, the sectors that include many tech and science-based businesses posted mixed results. Employment in professional occupations in natural and applied sciences—a field that includes engineers, statisticians and IT workers—was up 16.7 per cent compared to September 2018, and that growth accounted for over a quarter of the total increase in employment across Canada. Employment in the information, culture and recreation sector—which bundles in some tech businesses—was down 2.9 per cent, while professional, scientific and technical services rose 8.2 per cent.