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Jobless rate declines in September, 61,000 jobs added: StatsCan • Number of EI recipients decreases in July • More EI claims in July • Small increase in average weekly earnings for July • Despite economic slump, private companies more optimistic than ever •
|Canadian Payroll Reporter|Last Updated: 11/03/2011

Jobless rate declines in September, 61,000 jobs added: StatsCan

Ottawa — Following two months of little change, employment rose by 61,000 in September, all in full-time, according to a report by Statistics Canada. This increase pushed the unemployment rate down 0.2 percentage points to 7.1 per cent, the lowest rate since December 2008. Since September 2010, employment has grown by 1.7 per cent (294,000). Over this period, full-time employment rose by 2.5 per cent (344,000), part-time work declined 1.5 per cent (50,000) and total actual hours worked increased two per cent, said Statistics Canada. September's employment increase was spread across a number of industries, with gains in educational services; professional, scientific and technical services; accommodation and food services; natural resources; and public administration. Of the new jobs, 38,400 were in educational services, presumably largely the result of the return to work of teachers and assistants who were laid off for the summer. Statscan tries to adjust for seasonality but said there had not been enough of a consistent pattern in this sector for specific months. The number of workers in professional, scientific and technical services rose by 36,000 in September, continuing an upward trend that began in the summer of 2009. Over the past 12 months, employment in this industry has increased by 4.1 per cent (53,000), one of the highest rates of growth among all industries.

Number of EI recipients decreases in July

Ottawa —
The number of people receiving regular employment insurance benefits decreased in July. The number of beneficiaries was down 24,800 or 4.4 per cent in July to 535,700. This is the largest of 10 consecutive monthly declines. There were decreases in all provinces except New Brunswick, where there was little change and Newfoundland and Labrador, where the number of beneficiaries was up slightly. The largest percentage decrease occurred in Manitoba, where the number of beneficiaries was down 9.1 per cent to 11,700. The number of beneficiaries also fell in Quebec (5.8 per cent), Ontario (5.7 per cent), Alberta (5.4 per cent), Saskatchewan (5.3 per cent), Nova Scotia (5.2 per cent) and British Columbia (4.2 per cent).  Newfoundland and Labrador, the only province where there were more beneficiaries in July, posted a second consecutive increase with the number of beneficiaries rising 1.2 per cent.

More EI claims in July

Ottawa — The number of initial and renewal claims for employment insurance benefits went up 3.8 per cent or 8,800 claims to 243,300. This is the third increase in four months. There were more claims in several provinces in July, with the highest percentage increase in Ontario at 19 per cent. This increase follows a period of little change in the number of claims in Ontario since January. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the number of claims fell for the second consecutive month, down 10 per cent in July.

Small increase in average weekly earnings for July

Ottawa — Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased 0.1 per cent in July from the previous month to $872.70. On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings grew by 2.2 per cent. This was the slowest earnings growth since January 2010. The year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings reflects a number of factors, such as wage growth and changes in the composition of employment by industry, by occupation and by level of job experience. The decrease in the average hours worked per week contributed to the slower growth in earnings in July. The average workweek declined from 33 hours in July 2010 to 32.8 hours in July 2011, down 0.6 per cent, with fewer hours worked across the goods and services sectors. Compared with June 2011, average weekly hours were down 0.3 per cent in July.

Despite economic slump, private companies more optimistic than ever

Toronto — Despite another slowdown in the economy, Canadian private companies are still aiming for growth and expansion. In fact, their confidence level is the highest it's been since 2005 — 82 per cent of respondents to a PwC survey are striving for growth compared to 66 per cent last year. Over the next 12 months, businesses predict the top three issues to be: competition (34 per cent), profitability (29 per cent) and labour shortages (26 per cent), found the annual Business Insights Survey of 306 leaders of private companies, along with a supplemental survey of 135 of the respondents, concentrated around British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. With labour shortages cited as one of the top concerns for the coming year, 71 per cent of respondents plan to change their people strategies by using more non-financial rewards to motivate staff over the next 12 months. Thirty-eight per cent said they were working with government/education systems to improve skills in the talent pool.