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

March 10, 2023

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports today that US non-farm payroll employment increased by 311,000 in February 2023.

The US unemployment rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 3.6%. US employment rose consistently above pre-pandemic levels starting in June 2022, though the participation rate in the labour force remains lower.                                                                                                                                              

The US participation rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 62.5%. At its lowest point in April 2020, the participation rate fell to 60.1%. Although the participation rate has recovered since then, it remains 0.8 percentage points lower than it was prior to the pandemic.

The US employment to population ratio remained stable at 60.2%. The US employment rate has maintained a very gradual upward trend since the middle of 2013 and declined sharply in March 2020 due to COVID-19. Since reaching a low of 51.3% in April 2020, the US employment rate increased in 2021 and then reremained largely flat in 2022 and early 2023.


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


Sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics news releaseCommissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation

Statistics Canada.  Table  14-10-0287-01   Labour force characteristics, monthly, seasonally adjusted and trend-cycle

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