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Workopolis August Employment Update: Part-time help wanted

Peter Harris|

[Note: This article was originally published on August 8th, and refers to the Labour Force Survey Stats Can released that day. They later recalled the report and rereleased it a week later. Our take on the revised numbers is available here.]

Hey, there’s some good news if you’re looking for a part-time job. There’s apparently lots more of them out there. Spend more time with the kids.

Find part-time jobs on Workopolis.

On the surface, this morning’s Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada looks fairly innocuous. Employment remained little changed in July from June, and the overall national unemployment rate dipped back down t0 7.0%. That is roughly where it has hovered for much of the past year.

However, on closer reading, the news is more worrisome. The Canadian economy actually shed roughly 59,700 full-time jobs in July, while 60,000 more people were working part-time. That is a net gain of 300 jobs, which is insignificant growth – and a huge shift away from full-time work.

Workopolis continues to see increases in online job postings up significantly year-over-year – and these are up across all sectors and regions. Job postings are up for all fields an average of 21% over this time last year. However, amongst the sectors seeing the greatest gains are hospitality (+22%) and retail (+24%) – which corresponds to growth in part-time work.

Ontario and Quebec saw the bulk of the full-time to part-time swap with Ontario losing 29,300 full-time jobs and gaining 44,500 part-time positions. Quebec shed 34,200 full-time jobs and added 20,800.

There were 42,200 fewer people working in construction in July – with most of the declines happening in Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta.

Ontario saw big gains in employment in educational services, up by 32,000 jobs in July.

There were also 15,000 more people employed in information, culture and recreation last month, and this sector has seen year-over-year gains of 53,000 jobs.

While online job posting were up nationally year-over-year, they decreased in July by 6 per cent from June. This slight drop in job postings month-over-month is seasonal as hiring generally slows down in the middle of summer only to ramp up again towards the fall.

Month-over-month online job postings were down by 6% in the West, and down in Ontario (8%) and Quebec (5%) and were flat in the Atlantic Provinces.

If there is a good news story to be found in the morning’s Labour Force Survey it could be that younger workers saw some gains. The 15-24 year-old demographic has been the hardest hit by unemployment, with nearly double the national average jobless rate since the recession. Some 17,400 young people found employment in July.

While it seems like quite a few months now since we’ve seen an outright positive employment report from Stats Can, Workopolis remains cautiously optimistic about job creation in Canada.

Online job postings are up across sectors over 20% year-over-year, and the while there is some noise lately in the key economic indicators we watch closely, most signs continue towards positive growth.

So, Workopolis is forecasting slow but steady increases in employment for August and the next few months.

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Peter Harris
- Peter Harris on Twitter

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