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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

July 05, 2019

Nova Scotia's seasonally adjusted employment decreased by 500 in June, declining to 468,400.  Employment is 15,400 higher than it was in June 2018.

Nova Scotia’s June employment decrease follows the previous monthly gain of 4,500.  Nova Scotia’s employment increased in nine of the past twelve months. Nova Scotia’s labour force also decreased by 300 in June to 501,300. With a larger employment decrease than labour force decrease, unemployment increased by 100 persons and the unemployment rate was up 0.1 percentage points to 6.6 per cent in June.




In June, full-time employment declined 2,500 while part-time employment was up 2,100 persons. Note: Changes in part-time and full-time employment can include the net impacts of changing hours of work within the same position.

Compared with June 2018, the labour force has increased by 9,400 and employment is up 15,400. The year-over-year increase in employment includes a rise of 5,200 in full time employment and an increase of 10,100 in part time employment. The unemployment rate was down 1.3 percentage points compared to June 2018.

Comparing the first six months of 2019 with the same months in 2018, the labour force grew by 7,400 (+1.5%) while employment was up by 12,000 (+2.6%). This pushed the year-to-date average unemployment rate down from 7.6 per cent Jan-June 2018 to 6.6 per cent in Jan-June 2019.



Age Cohorts

In June 2019, the monthly unemployment rate for the 15-24 age cohort decreased 1.3 percentage points to 9.8 per cent. The unemployment rate for age 15-24 is at its lowest rate since start of monthly Labour Force Survey records in 1976 . The unemployment rate for the 25-54 year old age cohort increased 0.1 percentage points to 5.2 per cent, and for those aged 55 years and older, the unemployment rate increased 0.6 percentage points to 8.1 per cent.


Comparing the first six months of 2019 to the same period in 2018, the youth cohort (aged 15-24) saw a decrease in population (-200) but increases of 3,700 in labour force and 6,300 in employment. With the number of unemployed declining as a proportion of the labour force, the unemployment rate for 15-24-year olds decreased 4.3 percentage points to 12.5 per cent in the first six months of 2019.

Within the 25-54 age cohort, the population in January-June 2019 was 1,200 higher than it was in the same period of 2018. Employment among core aged workers rose by 2,700 and labour force rose by 700. Unemployment in this age cohort dropped by 2,000, and as a result, the unemployment rate declined by 0.7 percentage points over last year to 5.3 per cent in Jan-June 2019.

In year to date terms, persons aged 55 and older reported a population increase of 6,500 in January to June 2019. The labour force for older workers was up 3,100 and employment increased by 3,000. The similar gains in employment and labour force resulted in unemployment being virtually unchanged and decreased the year to date unemployment rate from 6.5 per cent in Jan-June 2018 to 6.3 per cent in Jan-June 2019.



Sectors – Year to Date

Looking at the results by class of worker for the first six months of 2019, employment increases for the private sector (+9,100) and for the public sector (+5,300) offset self-employment declines (-2,500). In Nova Scotia, there was an average of 291,500 private sector employees, 116,800 public sector employees, and 58,400 self-employed for the first six months of 2019.

Among goods-producing sectors, the first six months of 2019 saw employment growth concentrated in forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying and oil and gas (+2,200) as well as increases in agriculture (+800), manufacturing (+300), and construction (+500). There were offsetting employment losses in utilities (-300). 

Services-producing employment increased by 8,400 compared to the first six months of 2018. The largest increases come from wholesale/retail trade, health care, and information, culture and recreation. The largest declines came from finance/insurance and other support services.


Regions – Year-to-Date (unadjusted 3-month moving average)

The Cape Breton region showed an increase in employment (1,100) with labour force increasing by 1,600, and an increase in unemployment (500). This put upward pressure on the unemployment rate, which increased from 14.7 per cent in January-June 2018 to 15.3 per cent in January-June 2019.

For the North Shore region, the labour force declined by 1,400 and employment increased by 400. With labour force falling and employment increasing, the number of unemployed declined by 1,800. this caused a 2.3 percentage point drop in the unemployment rate from 9.5 per cent to 7.2 per cent.

The Annapolis Valley reported an increase of 400 in employment along with a decline of 500 for the labour force. Unemployment dropped by 1,000, and the net result was decline in the average unemployment rate by 1.5 percentage points to 6.9 per cent.

The Southern region saw an increase of 2,600 in employment along with an increase of 2,600 in the labour force. The number of unemployed was unchanged, but the unemployment rate declined 0.4 percentage points to 7.3 per cent with a smaller share of the labour force being unemployed

Halifax experienced an increase in employment of 6,900 along with an increase in the labour force of 4,100. With unemployment declining by 2,800, there was a drop in the unemployment rate of 1.2 percentage points to 5.1 per cent in Halifax.



Provincial Comparisons

The Nova Scotia unemployment rate was 6.6 per cent in June 2019, declining 1.3 percentage points from a year ago. The Canadian unemployment rate was 5.5 per cent, down 0.5 percentage points with one year ago.

Seven provinces reported lower unemployment rates compared to a year ago with Prince Edward Island (+0.4 percentage points), New Brunswick (+0.2 percentage points) and Alberta (+0.0 percentage points) not declining. The lowest unemployment rate among the provinces this month was in British Columbia (4.5 per cent) while the highest was in Newfoundland and Labrador at 13.3 per cent.



Employment was up in all provinces in year to date terms. The largest gains in percentage terms was seen in British Columbia (+3.4%), Ontario (+2.7%) and Nova Scotia (+2.6%). Nationally, employment was up 2.1 per cent.


National Comparisons: Cities (Monthly)

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the Halifax Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in June 2019 was 5.2 per cent (3 month moving average). Quebec City (2.4 per cent) had the lowest unemployment rate among CMAs, while the highest was in St. John’s (8.1 per cent).


The seasonally adjusted employment rate for the Halifax CMA was 65.3 per cent, up 0.9 percentage points compared to last month. London had the lowest employment rate (54.5 per cent), while Calgary had the highest (69.4 per cent).

Halifax’s employment (3 month moving average) for June 2019 was up 1.6 per cent compared to the May 2019 result. The largest gain among CMAs was in Brantford, where employment rose by 1.9 per cent. 


Note: Seasonally adjusted, 3 month average.

With the January 2019 Labour Force Survey release, Statistics Canada has changed the processing systems that is used to impute data of incomplete records of the survey. Statistics Canada notes that for most LFS estimates the difference from the new system will be small, but some areas could be impacted such as part-time employment and employment by firm size. The transition is being monitored and historical revisions of series maybe made in the future. For more details, see Transition of Labour Force Survey Data Processing to the Social Survey Processing Environment (SSPE)

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