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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email: thomas.storring@novascotia.ca

October 04, 2019
US EMPLOYMENT, SEPTEMBER 2019

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports today that US non-farm payroll employment increased by 136,000 in September. Results for August were revised upward to show a gain of 168,000.  US employment growth has slowed in 2019.

US employment gains in the last month were concentrated in: health care (+39,000), professional/business services (+34,000), government (+22,000), transportation/warehousing (+16,000).  Employment was down in retail trade (-11,000 though this is not significant).  There was little change in employment in other major sectors of the economy: mining, construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, information, financial activities and leisure/hospitality.

The US unemployment rate declined 0.2 percentage points in September to 3.5 per cent. The last time the rate was this low was in December 1969. Unemployment rates across most advanced economies (including Canada and Nova Scotia) are at levels below long run averages.

The US participation rate was steady at to 63.2 per cent in September. Unlike unemployment rates, the US participation rate has failed to return to pre-recession levels and has only increased modestly since bottoming out in 2015, with fluctuations around a narrow range since the start of 2016.  Participation rates in Canada and Nova Scotia also declined in the years after the global financial crises.  Canada's participation rate has been increasing in recent months, increasing slightly to 65.8 per cent in August.

The US employment to population ratio increased 0.1 percentage points to 61.0 per cent in September. The US employment rate has maintained a very gradual upward trend since the middle of 2013. 

Employment rates in Canada trended up in 2016 and 2017 but remained below levels observed in 2008.  Since the summer of 2018, the national employment rate has re-established an upward trend.  In August, Canada's employment rate rebounded to 62.0 per cent after a decline in July.  With an aging population and declining labour supply, Nova Scotia's employment rates trended down over the 2012 to 2016 period. Nova Scotia's employment rate was elevated in the first half of the year before falling in July.  In August, the Nova Scotia employment rate was 57.3 per cent.

Note: Canadian and US labour force statistics refer to different working-age cohorts.

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Statistics Canada Table  14-10-0287-02



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