Labour Market Bulletin - Newfoundland and Labrador: January 2020

This Labour Market Bulletin provides an analysis of Labour Force Survey results for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, including the regions of Avalon Peninsula, South Coast-Burin Peninsula and Notre Dame-Central Bonavista Bay, and West Coast-Northern Peninsula-Labrador.

Overview

In January, there was little change in the unemployment rate from the month before. Employment and labour force size both had small gains. While the unemployment rate was only half a percentage point higher than a year ago, the labour market has changed. Compared to the same time last year, both the size of the labour force and employment each declined by nearly 10,000, with the bulk of the employment loss in full-time positions.

Newfoundland and Labrador monthly labour force statistics
Seasonally adjusted
monthly data
Jan 2020 Dec 2019 Jan 2019 Monthly variation Yearly variation
Number % Number %
Population 15 + ('000) 439.8 439.8 441.9 0.0 0.0 -2.1 -0.5
Labour force ('000) 252.5 251.3 262.2 1.2 0.5 -9.7 -3.7
Employment ('000) 222.5 221.7 232.3 0.8 0.4 -9.8 -4.2
Full-time ('000) 187.7 185.9 196.7 1.8 1.0 -9.0 -4.6
Part-time ('000) 34.8 35.8 35.5 -1.0 -2.8 -0.7 -2.0
Unemployment ('000) 30.0 29.6 29.9 0.4 1.4 0.1 0.3
Unemployment rate (%) 11.9 11.8 11.4 0.1 - 0.5 -
Participation rate (%) 57.4 57.1 59.3 0.3 - -1.9 -
Employment rate (%) 50.6 50.4 52.6 0.2 - -2.0 -

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey - Table 14-10-0287

Relatively steady labour market conditions kept the unemployment rate elevated through the first half of 2018, until falling in the second half of the year due to employment growth. In 2019, employment moved lower through August, raising the unemployment rate. However, in recent months the size of the labour force has declined faster than employment, lowering the unemployment rate slightly from where it was over the summer.

Newfoundland and Labrador monthly employment and unemployment rate
Newfoundland and Labrador monthly employment and unemployment rate
Show data table: Newfoundland and Labrador monthly employment and unemployment rate
Newfoundland and Labrador monthly employment and unemployment rate
Unemployment rate (%) Employment ('000)
Jan 2018 14.4 223.6
Feb 2018 14.4 223.0
Mar 2018 14.5 222.7
Apr 2018 14.7 222.8
May 2018 14.2 224.1
Jun 2018 14.8 224.5
Jul 2018 14.6 226.2
Aug 2018 13.7 227.2
Sep 2018 13.2 227.6
Oct 2018 12.4 225.9
Nov 2018 12.1 225.3
Dec 2018 11.5 228.5
Jan 2019 11.4 232.3
Feb 2019 11.8 230.6
Mar 2019 11.6 229.9
Apr 2019 11.8 228.5
May 2019 12.5 226.2
Jun 2019 13.1 224.5
Jul 2019 12.6 225.3
Aug 2019 12.9 224.9
Sep 2019 11.4 224.7
Oct 2019 11.1 226.6
Nov 2019 11.3 225.8
Dec 2019 11.8 221.7
Jan 2020 11.9 222.5

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey

Among major age and gender groups, youth (ages 15 to 24 years) experienced most of the employment loss over the previous month. Youth employment had its strongest decline in over a year, raising the group’s unemployment rate by 2.5 percentage points from December. Employment losses were full-time in nature.

For females 25 years and older, the unemployment rate has generally been under 10% for over a year. In January, there was a notable gain in labour force size and employment. The result was a decline in the unemployment rate for this group to the third-lowest rate on record going back to 1976. For males of the same age group, there was little change from the previous month. However, both labour force size and employment have each declined by 6,000 compared to a year ago, resulting in a smaller labour market.

Newfoundland and Labrador monthly unemployment rates, by gender and age
Seasonally adjusted data Jan 2020 (%) Dec 2019 (%) Jan 2019 (%) Monthly variation
(% points)
Yearly variation
(% points)
Total 11.9 11.8 11.4 0.1 0.5
25 years and over 11.0 11.3 10.8 -0.3 0.2
Men - 25 years and over 14.1 14.1 13.5 0.0 0.6
Women - 25 years and over 7.7 8.1 7.8 -0.4 -0.1
15 to 24 years 18.0 15.5 15.6 2.5 2.4
Men - 15 to 24 years 21.9 20.7 19.2 1.2 2.7
Women - 15 to 24 years 14.7 10.3 12.2 4.4 2.5

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey - Table 14-10-0287

Employment by industry

Employment in the goods-producing sector was slightly higher than in December. However, employment in this sector in the past two months has not been this low since 2010. Compared to a year ago, the sector has lost nearly 5,000 jobs. Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas has declined in recent months to its lowest employment level since the summer of 2018. While there may be occasional monthly gains, construction has generally declined over the past four years. Construction activity on major projects such as the Hebron Oil Platform and Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Project raised employment in this industry to elevated levels from 2014 to 2016. However, current projects such as the West White Rose Gravity Based Structure and Voisey’s Bay Underground Mine Development have not required the same level of labour as Hebron and others. This has resulted in lower employment over time.

Employment in the services-producing sector was virtually unchanged from the previous month, but there were considerably fewer jobs in the sector in January versus a year ago. Following a positive rebound in 2018, finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing has declined, reducing employment in recent months to some of the lowest levels experienced over the past decade. Educational services had a strong gain in January and the largest increase of any industry compared to a year ago. After a period of notable decline, employment in this industry has generally grown over the past three years. Following a period of rising employment between 2015 and 2018, health care and social assistance weakened in the first half of 2019 and has remained relatively stable since then.

Newfoundland and Labrador monthly labour force statistics, by industry
Seasonally adjusted data ('000) Jan 2020 Dec 2019 Jan 2019 Monthly variation Yearly variation
Number % Number %
Total employed, all industries 222.5 221.7 232.3 0.8 0.4 -9.8 -4.2
Goods-producing sector 43.9 43.3 48.6 0.6 1.4 -4.7 -9.7
Agriculture 1.6 1.3 1.2 0.3 23.1 0.4 33.3
Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas 12.2 12.1 15.6 0.1 0.8 -3.4 -21.8
Utilities 2.4 2.5 2.8 -0.1 -4.0 -0.4 -14.3
Construction 18.5 18.2 20.2 0.3 1.6 -1.7 -8.4
Manufacturing 9.4 9.2 8.8 0.2 2.2 0.6 6.8
Services-producing sector 178.6 178.5 183.7 0.1 0.1 -5.1 -2.8
Trade 35.3 35.8 36.2 -0.5 -1.4 -0.9 -2.5
Transportation and warehousing 11.4 10.9 12.7 0.5 4.6 -1.3 -10.2
Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing 6.1 6.4 8.0 -0.3 -4.7 -1.9 -23.8
Professional, scientific and technical services 9.2 9.7 10.2 -0.5 -5.2 -1.0 -9.8
Business, building and other support services 7.2 6.9 7.5 0.3 4.3 -0.3 -4.0
Educational services 17.4 15.6 15.7 1.8 11.5 1.7 10.8
Health care and social assistance 38.3 38.7 41.7 -0.4 -1.0 -3.4 -8.2
Information, culture and recreation 6.4 6.7 8.1 -0.3 -4.5 -1.7 -21.0
Accommodation and food services 17.3 17.2 16.8 0.1 0.6 0.5 3.0
Other services 12.0 11.7 8.2 0.3 2.6 3.8 46.3
Public administration 18.1 18.8 18.6 -0.7 -3.7 -0.5 -2.7

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey - Table 14-10-0355

Regional analysis

Compared to a year ago, the economic regions of the province had mixed results.

The Avalon Peninsula was the only economic region with an increase in employment and labour force size. These gains have been the norm for this economic region since the middle of 2018. Employment gains were in full-time positions. However, for the first month in over a year, the unemployment rate did not drop. The services-producing sector added jobs, continuing a trend since the summer of 2018. The goods-producing sector employed fewer people. Construction has declined for a prolonged period.

While the unemployment rate increased slightly in the South Coast–Burin Peninsula and Notre Dame-Central-Bonavista Bay region. Labour force and employment losses have been steep for most of the past year. The employment decline in January was similar in both the goods-producing and services-producing sectors. The unemployment rate dropped in the West Coast-Northern Peninsula-Labrador, but this was because the size of the labour force shrunk faster than employment. This has been the case for this economic region since the summer. January’s employment loss was in the services-producing sector. Health care and social services has led the losses for the past two months.

Newfoundland and Labrador monthly labour force statistics, by economic region
3-Month Moving Averages Seasonally Unadjusted Data Employment Unemployment rate
Jan 2020
('000)
Jan 2019
('000)
Yearly
variation
(%)
Jan 2020
(%)
Jan 2019
(%)
Yearly
variation
(%)
Newfoundland and Labrador 217.8 223.7 -2.6 12.2 12.4 -0.2
Economic regions
Avalon Peninsula 134.5 133.0 1.1 9.4 9.4 0.0
South Coast-Burin Peninsula and Notre Dame-Central Bonavista Bay 44.6 51.7 -13.7 18.0 16.1 1.9
West Coast-Northern Peninsula-Labrador 38.6 39.1 -1.3 14.2 16.7 -2.5

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey - Table 14-10-0293

Note

In preparing this document, the authors have taken care to provide clients with labour market information that is timely and accurate at the time of publication. Since labour market conditions are dynamic, some of the information presented here may have changed since this document was published. Users are encouraged to also refer to other sources for additional information on the local economy and labour market. Information contained in this document does not necessarily reflect official policies of Employment and Social Development Canada.

Prepared by: Labour Market Analysis Directorate, Service Canada, Atlantic Region
For further information, please contact the LMI team.
For information on the Labour Force Survey, please visit the Statistics Canada website.

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