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Labor developments in Canada, 1990.

The effects of a recession that began in the second quarter of 1990 were apparent in Canadian labor force statistics for the year, according to a May 1991 report by Employment and Immigration Canada. Employment grew modestly, at a 0.7-percent annual rate, following advances of 2.0 percent in 1989 and 3.2 percent in 1988. The employment increase of 86,000, which brought total Canadian employment for 1990 to 12,572,000, consisted of full-time and part-time jobs in almost equal proportions. Employment was up in service-producing industries (201,000), but declined in goods-producing industries (114,000), with manufacturing suffering the largest losses (125,000).

Over the year, employment rose by 2 percent for persons age 25 and over, but declined 5 percent among youth. Most of the increase (164,000) was accounted for by adult women. Their rate of employment growth was 3.8 percent, compared to a rate of 0.7 percent for adult men.

In 1990, employment in eight of the Canadian provinces grew at rates equal to or above the national average of 0.7 percent. The highest rates of increase were recorded in New Brunswick (2.5 percent) and British Columbia (2.4 percent). No change occurred in Newfoundland, and employment declined in Ontario (0.2 percent).

Employed persons as a proportion of the working age population (15 years and older) declined by 0.5 percentage point to 61.5 percent for the year. All of the decline took place among youth (2.2 percentage points) and adult men (1.0 percentage point). However, adult women posted an increase of 0.9 percentage point, bringing their employment-to-population ratio to 52.6 percent.

The number of unemployed persons rose by 91,000 (8.9 percent) to 1,109,000. Most of the increase took place among men (65,000, or 11.9 percent). However, all age/sex groups posted increases in unemployment levels, with the exception of those age 55 and over, who recorded a slight decline (4,000). Geographically, unemployment declined in five provinces, but relatively large increases in jobless levels occurred in Ontario (67,000) and Quebec (34,000). Among industries, unemployment fell in agriculture and public administration, while rather sizable increases were recorded for construction (32,000) and manufacturing (29,000).

The average duration of unemployment in 1990 was 16.9 weeks, 1 week shorter than in the previous year. The number of long-term unemployed-persons jobless for 53 weeks or longer-fell by 5,000 to 62,000, or 5.6 percent of total unemployment.

The national unemployment rate rose 0.6 percentage point to 8.1 percent. All age/sex groups posted increases in unemployment rates, with two exceptions: the rate for persons age 55 and over fell 0.4 percentage point, while that for women ages 25 to 54 remained unchanged. Unemployment rates declined in five provinces (New Brunswick and four Westem provinces) and rose in the remaining five, with the highest increase occurring in Ontario (1.2 percentage points).

In 1990, the Canadian labor force grew by 178,000 (1.3 percent) to 13,681,000. Persons age 25 and over accounted for all of the increase (268,000), while youth recorded a decline of 90,000. All 10 provinces reported labor force growth.

The labor force participation rate remained unchanged from the 1989 estimate of 67.0 percent. The rate was up for adult women (0.9 percentage point), but declined for youth 1.3 percentage points) and for adult men (0.5 percentage point). Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia recorded declines in their participation rates, while the remaining seven provinces posted increases.

THE DETAILED REPORT on the 1990 Canadian labor market is entitled, "The Canadian Labour Market in 1990," Labour Market Bulletin, vol. 7, no. 3 (Supplement, May 1991). Persons wishing to obtain copies of the report should write to: Alex Gray, Employment and Immigration Canada, Briefing and Current Analysis Division, Place du Portage, Phase IV, Ottawa/ Hull, Canada K1A 0J9. Telephone number: (613) 994-3951.
COPYRIGHT 1992 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Feb 1, 1992
Words:668
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