Eye on Employment: December 2019

Posted in News, Eye on Employment

Eye on Employment: December 2019

The Eye on Employment is NWPB’s monthly breakdown of the latest data from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey. In this document, we will provide you with a summary of changes in local labour market indicators, offer comparisons to historical benchmarks, and show how seasonality affects employment in Niagara.

First, a foreword on our source: Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey or LFS. The LFS is a robust tool that provides us with a considerable amount of data. At its core, however, it exists to sort Canadians into one of three groups: people who are employed, people who are not employed but are looking for work, and people who are not in the labour force. People might do a job, either for an employer or through self-employment, but the LFS is counting the people, not the job. Bearing this in mind, let’s turn our eye toward employment.

Monthly and Yearly Overview


Table 1: Niagara – Current and Historical Trends – Seasonally Unadjusted

Labour force characteristics October 2018 November 2018 2018 September 2019 October 2019 November 2019
Labour force 219,100 215,700 215,800 215,500 215,000 215,800
Employment 204,700 202,600 201,700 203,100 204,300 205,200
Full-time employment 158,300 156,000 153,100 158,300 158,500 158,200
Part-time employment 46,500 46,600 48,600 44,900 45,800 47,000
Unemployment 14,300 13,100 14,200 12,300 10,700 10,600
Unemployment rate 6.5% 6.1% 6.6% 5.7% 5.0% 4.9%
Participation rate 62.0% 60.9% 61.2% 60.2% 60.0% 60.1%
Employment rate 57.9% 57.2% 57.2% 56.7% 57.0% 57.2%

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, Table: 14-10-0095-01 (formerly CANSIM 282-0128)

Month-over-month, we can see 800 more people either working or looking for work (an increase in the labour force) between October 2019 and November 2019. There were 300 fewer people in full-time employment, and 1,200 more people in part-time employment. Compared to this time last year, November 2019 reports 2,600 more people reporting employment than was observed in November 2018. This change is attributed to increases in both part- and full-time employment. Specifically, November 2019 saw 400 more people employed part-time compared to November 2018. November 2019 saw 2,200 more people employed in a full-time capacity compared to November 2018.
 
Niagara’s unemployment rate decreased from 5.0% in October to 4.9% in November 2019. This occurred alongside month-over-month increases in the employment rate (from 57.0% to 57.2%) and the participation rate (from 60.0% to 60.1%). This trends reflects “ideal” labour force trends; therein, the “ideal” scenario is to see a falling – or stable – unemployment rate alongside increases in the participation and employment rates.
 
It is important to keep in mind that the data in Table 1 are seasonally unadjusted figures. That means factors like youth returning to school, holidays, and other factors that can be reasonably predicted to influence employment are not accounted for in these data. Table 2 shows what the labour force looks like when we adjust for seasonality.


Table 2: Niagara – Current and Historical Trends – Seasonally Adjusted

Seasonal Labour Force Characteristics October 2018 November 2018 2018 September 2019 October 2019 November 2019
Labour force 215,800 214,400 215,800 211,800 213,100 215,600
Employment 200,100 199,300 201,700 199,300 201,300 204,000
Unemployment 15,700 15,100 14,200 12,500 11,800 11,600
Unemployment rate 7.3% 7.0% 6.6% 5.9% 5.5% 5.4%
Participation rate 61.0% 60.6% 61.2% 59.1% 59.4% 60.1%
Employment rate 56.6% 56.3% 57.2% 55.7% 56.1% 56.8%

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, Table: 14-10-0294-01 (formerly CANSIM 282-0135)


Table 2 shows that there were 2,700 more people employed in Niagara between October 2019 and November 2019, which is similar in trend, though larger in scope to the unadjusted pattern, which saw an increase of 900 people employed. The seasonally adjusted data show that changes in the unemployment rate (5.5% in October compared to 5.4% in November), participation rate (59.4% in October compared to 60.1% in November and employment rate (56.1% in October compared to 56.8% in November) are similar to the unadjusted data, with unemployment decreasing and participation and employment increasing.

As the trends are similar, one might ask which of these figures is correct and/or should be used when reporting these statistics. The answer is that both are equally valid. Both measures are essential tools to understanding labour force trends in Niagara. In this case, when we adjust for seasonal effects, we still see increases in employment and participation, and a decreases in unemployment. This means that, even after controlling for expected seasonal factors, these positive trends still hold.


The Youth Lens

LFS data also allow us a snapshot of youth (defined as people age 15 to 24) employment in Niagara. Once again these data do not account for seasonality.

Table 3: Niagara – Current and Historical Trends – Youth Age 15 to 24 – Seasonally Unadjusted

Labour force characteristics October 2018 November 2018 2018 September 2019 October 2019 November 2019
Labour force 34,900 34,100 34,300 35,800 33,000 32,200
Employment 30,800 30,300 29,900 31,700 28,900 26,800
Full-time employment 18,700 17,600 15,400 18,400 15,500 12,600
Part-time employment 12,200 12,800 14,500 13,300 13,400 14,300
Unemployment 4,100 3,800 4,400 4,100 4,000 5,400
Unemployment rate 11.7% 11.1% 12.8% 11.5% 12.1% 16.8%
Participation rate 68.2% 63.4% 68.7% 71.6% 67.1% 65.3%
Employment rate 60.2% 56.3% 59.9% 63.4% 58.7% 54.4%

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, Table: 14-10-0095-01 (formerly CANSIM 282-0128)


Here we see 2,100 fewer youth working in November 2019 compared to October 2019. There were 2,900 fewer youth working in a full-time capacity, and the number of youth working in a part-time capacity increased by 900. November saw the youth unemployment rate increase from 12.1% in October to 16.8%, while the participation rate decreased from 67.1% to 65.3%. Similarly, the employment rate decreased from 58.7% in October to 54.4% in November. Compared to this time last year, November 2019 reports 5,000 fewer youth employed in a full-time capacity and 1,500 more youth working in a part-time capacity.

This increase in the youth unemployment rate is a considerable change compared to the previous month’s data. Historical data for youth in November does reflect a trend toward increasing unemployment rates and falling employment rates. Even within this context, the November 2019 figure is pronounced. Generally, this trend is explained through a smaller proportion of Niagara’s youth in employment paired with increasing numbers of youth job seekers, who are actively looking for work but unable to find it. The historical data for youth in November are represented in Table 4.

Table 4: Niagara – November Historical Trends – Youth Age 15 to 24 – Seasonally Unadjusted

Labour force characteristics Nov-15 Nov-16 Nov-17 Nov-18 Nov-19
Labour force 35,200 40,600 29,600 34,100 32,200
Employment 30,100 37,800 27,500 30,300 26,800
Full-time employment 12,500 20,700 14,000 17,600 12,600
Part-time employment 17,600 17,100 13,500 12,800 14,300
Unemployment 5,100 2,800 2,100 3,800 5,400
Unemployment rate 14.5% 6.9% 7.1% 11.1% 16.8%
Participation rate 69.7% 76.5% 69.6% 63.4% 65.3%
Employment rate 59.6% 71.2% 64.7% 56.3% 54.4%


We now offer the Eye on Employment in a downloadable PDF format. You can download the PDF by clicking this link.

Would you like to know more? NWPB is ready for your questions. Reach out to NWPB’s CEO, Vivian Kinnaird.