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HomeCANADAUnemployment rate steady at 5.5% in August: Statistics Canada

Unemployment rate steady at 5.5% in August: Statistics Canada

Employment rose by 40,000 (+0.2%) in August. This increase in employment was outpaced by population growth (+103,000; +0.3%) and the employment rate—the proportion of the population aged 15 and older who are employed—fell 0.1 percentage points to 61.9%.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5%, following three consecutive monthly increases in May, June and July.

Employment increased among core-aged men (+33,000; +0.5%) and women (+21,000; +0.3%) aged 25 to 54 years, while employment declined among women aged 55 and older (-27,000; -1.3%). Employment for female youth increased (+32,000; +2.4%), while it declined among male youth (-29,000; -2.1%).

Employment increased in professional, scientific and technical services (+52,000; +2.8%) and construction (+34,000; +2.2%) and declined in educational services (-44,000; -2.9%) and manufacturing (-30,000; -1.6%). Employment changes in the other industries were smaller.

Employment rose in Alberta (+18,000; +0.7%), British Columbia (+12,000; +0.4%), and Prince Edward Island (+1,800; +2.0%) in August, while it declined in Nova Scotia (-3,600; -0.7%).

The number of self-employed workers rose by 50,000 (+1.9%) in August, the first notable increase in nine months. There was little change in the number of employees in the private sector or in the public sector.

On a year-over-year basis, average hourly wages rose 4.9% (+$1.56 to $33.47) in August, following an increase of 5.0% in July.

Total hours worked were up by 0.5% in August and by 2.6% on a year-over-year basis.

Among those who were unemployed in July, 57.8% remained unemployed in August—a greater proportion than 12 months earlier (53.4%) (three-month moving averages, not seasonally adjusted).

Over one-third of workers who held multiple jobs in August indicated that they were doing so to pay for essential needs.

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