Government of Nova Scotia, Canada
Header - Service Directory

Use the Services Directory to quickly access information on all of the services provided by the NS Department of Finance.

Home > Economics and Statistics > Archived Daily Stats > Selected Archived Daily Stats Article
The Economics and Statistics Division maintains archives of previous publications for accountability purposes, but makes no updates to keep these documents current with the latest data revisions from Statistics Canada. As a result, information in older documents may not be accurate. Please exercise caution when referring to older documents. For the latest information and historical data, please contact the individual listed to the right.

<--- Return to Archive

For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

December 06, 2019

Nova Scotia's seasonally adjusted employment level was down 700 in November to 466,800.  Employment is 9,000 higher than it was last November.

Nova Scotia's employment decrease in November follows three months of increases in August, September and October. Nova Scotia’s labour force decreased by 1,900 last month to 506,400 for November. With an employment decrease but a larger decrease in the labour force the number of unemployed decreased 1,300 persons. The unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 7.8 per cent in November.



In November, full-time employment increased by 400 while part-time employment was down 1,000 persons.  Note: Changes in part-time and full-time employment can include the net impacts of changing hours of work within the same position. 

The year-over-year (Nov-19 vs Nov-18) increase in employment of 9,000 includes an increase of 3,800 in full-time employment and an increase of 5,200 in part time employment. The unemployment rate was up 0.8 percentage points compared to November 2018.

Comparing the first eleven months of 2019 (Jan-Nov) with the same months in 2018, the labour force grew by 8,400 (+1.7%) while employment was up by 10,700 (+2.3%). This pushed the year-to-date average unemployment rate down from 7.6 per cent in Jan-Nov 2018 to 7.1 per cent in Jan-Nov 2019. 



Age Cohorts

Unemployment rates decreased for younger and older workers in November. The unemployment rate for those aged 15-24 decreased 0.8 percentage points to 13.3 per cent. For those in the 25-54 year old age cohort the unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 7.1 per cent and for those aged 55 years and older the unemployment decreased 0.7 percentage points to 6.2 per cent.

Age Cohort: Year-to-Date

Comparing the first eleven months of 2019 with the same months in 2018, the youth cohort (aged 15-24) saw no change in population along with an increase in labour force (+3,100) and an increase in employment (+4,700).  The decline in the number of unemployed (-1,600) resulted in the unemployment rate for 15-24-year olds declining 2.8 percentage points to 13.3 per cent on average over the first eleven months of 2019.

Within the 25-54 age cohort, population growth (+1,600) was less than the increase in labour force (+2,600).  Faster growth in employment among core aged workers (+3,100) reduced unemployment in this age cohort (-500). This resulted in the unemployment rate decreasing 0.2 percentage points over last year to 5.8 per cent in Jan-Nov 2019.

In year to date terms, older workers (55+) reported increases in population (+6,800), labour force (+2,700) and employment (+2,800).  Employment grew slightly faster than labour force, reducing the number of unemployed (-100). The unemployment rate for older workers declined 0.3 percentage points over last year to an average of 6.3 per cent in Jan-Nov 2019.  




Males and Females

The male participation rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 65.6 per cent in November 2019. The participation rate for females was down  0.7 percentage points to 59.4 per cent compared to October 2019, after a period of rising from 57.8 per cent in November 2018.

For November 2019, monthly employment decreased by 300 among males and by 300 among females.  The labour force was up by 600 among males and declined 2,400 among females. The male unemployment rate increased to 9.5 per cent and the female unemployment rate declined to 6.1 per cent.

 Males and Females: Year-to-date

For Jan-Nov 2019 compared to Jan-Nov 2018, female labour force (+6,700) and employment (+6,500) gains outpaced population growth (+3,800). The unemployment rate among females declined 0.1 percentage points to average 5.8 per cent for Jan-Nov. 2019.

For the first eleven months of 2019, the male population has increased by 4,400. The male labour force has increased by 1,700 while employment among males has increased by 4,200. The larger increase in employment than labour force resulted in the unemployment rate among males declining by 1.0 percentage points to 8.3 per cent for the Jan-Nov. 2019 period.





Monthly employment gains in November reflected no change in public sector employment and declines in private sector (-500) and self-employed (-100). Monthly employment in November was down 300 in goods industries and 300 in service sectors. 

Sectors – Year to Date

Looking at the results by class of worker for the first eleven of 2019, employment increases for the private sector (12,300) and the public sector (2,000) more than outweigh the decline in self-employment (-3,600). Over the first eleven months of 2019, Nova Scotia averaged 294,400 private sector employees, 114,900 public sector employees, and 56,800 in self-employment.

Among goods-producing sectors, the first eleven months of 2019, saw employment increases in Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas (+1,900) as well as Construction (+1,400) and Agriculture (+600). Manufacturing and utilities employment levels were little changed.

Services-producing industries averaged 6,700 more jobs compared to the first eleven months of 2018. The largest increases come from Health care and social assistance (+5,200), Wholesale/Retail Trade (+2,500), with a smaller increases in Information, culture and recreation (+800). There were declines in Other services (-1,800), Business, building and other support services (-700, including call centres), as well as Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing (-700).


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

Compared with the first eleven months of 2018, Cape Breton employment is up (+1,700) while the labour force increased by 1,600.  Year-to-date unemployment is relatively unchanged (-100) compared to Jan-Nov 2018. The unemployment rate declined 0.6 percentage points from 14.6 per cent in Jan-Nov 2018 to 14.0 per cent in Jan-Nov 2019 as the pace of employment growth was faster than the rise in labour force.

For the North Shore region, the labour force increased by 100 while employment increased by 1,400.  With labour force growing slower than employment, the number of unemployed declined by 1,400. This caused a 1.8 percentage point drop in the unemployment rate from 8.9 per cent to 7.1 per cent.

The Annapolis Valley reported an increase of 1,300 in employment along with an increase of 900 in the labour force. Unemployment declined 400 and the net result was a decline in the average unemployment rate by 0.7 percentage points to 6.5 per cent.

The Southern region had a decrease of 1,600 in employment along with a decline of 900 in labour force. The unemployment rate has increased 1.3 percentage points to 8.1 per cent so far in 2019.

Halifax experienced an increase of 7,800 in employment along with an increase of 6,100 in the labour force. With unemployment declining by 1,700, there was a decrease of 0.9 percentage points in the unemployment rate to 5.4 per cent in Halifax. 




Provincial Comparisons

The Nova Scotia unemployment rate was 7.8 per cent in November 2019, an increase of 0.8 percentage points from a year ago. The Canadian unemployment rate was 5.9 per cent, higher by 0.3 percentage points compared to one year ago.

Only three provinces reported lower unemployment rates compared to a year ago with the largest decline in Newfoundland and Labrador (-1.0 percentage points). Higher unemployment rates occurred in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Saskatchewan Alberta and British Columbia. The lowest unemployment rate among the provinces this month was in British Columbia (5.0 per cent) while the highest was in Newfoundland and Labrador (11.2 per cent).




Employment was up in all provinces in year to date terms. The largest gains in percentage terms was seen in British Columbia (+2.8%), Ontario (+2.8%) and Nova Scotia (+2.3%). Nationally, employment has risen 2.1 per cent comparing Jan-Nov 2019 with Jan-Nov 2018.


National Comparisons: Cities (Monthly)

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the Halifax Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in November 2019 was 5.9 per cent (3 month moving average). Brantford, Ontario (3.1 per cent) had the lowest unemployment rate among CMAs while the highest was in Saint John, New Brunswick (8.2 per cent).

The seasonally adjusted employment rate for the Halifax was 64.2 per cent, down 0.4 percentage points compared to last month. Peterborough, Ontario (54.2 per cent) had the lowest employment rate, while Calgary, Alberta (68.3 per cent) had the highest.


Halifax’s employment (3 month moving average) for November 2019 was down 0.5 percent  compared to the October 2019 result. The largest gain among CMAs was in London where employment was up 2.2 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)

<--- Return to Archive