Labour Market Bulletin - Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon: October 2016

This Labour Market Bulletin provides an analysis of Labour Force Survey results for all three of Canada's territories, including the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.

Overview

Employment

As of October 2016, there were 57,500 people working in Northwest Territories (NWT), Nunavut and Yukon, representing a slight decrease of 0.2% (-100) from September. This drop can be attributed entirely to a decrease in number of people working full-time. Employment levels in Nunavut were unchanged this month, while Northwest Territories experienced a small decrease of 0.9%. Yukon is the only territory that saw a monthly increase, with employment up 1%.

On a year-over-year basis, employment in the Territories advanced by 4.5%, meaning that 2,500 more people were employed in October 2016 than in October 2015. In fact, employment in all three territories increased considerably, with Nunavut and Northwest Territories each posting gains of 800, while Yukon recorded an increase of 1,000.

Unemployment

The unemployment rate for the combined Territories decreased for a third consecutive month, falling to 8.3% in October. Year-over-year, the unemployment rate decreased both in Northwest Territories and in Nunavut, while Yukon's unemployment rate increased 0.6 percentage points to 4.9%.

The youth (15 to 24 years) unemployment rate for the three Territories was 15.7% in October, a decrease of 1.1 percentage points from September 2016. While still high compared to other regions, this marks an improvement from October last year, when the youth unemployment rate was 21.5%. Over the past year, the unemployment rate for young men dropped 3.8 percentage points to 17%, while the unemployment rate for young women is down 5.7 percentage points to 14.3%.

Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon* Monthly Labour Force Statistics
Seasonally Unadjusted Data October 2016 September 2016 October 2015 Monthly Variation Yearly Variation
Number % Number %
Population 15 + ('000) 85.2 85.3 84.3 -0.1 -0.1 0.9 1.1
Labour Force ('000) 62.7 62.9 60.7 -0.2 -0.3 2.0 3.3
Employment ('000) 57.5 57.6 55.0 -0.1 -0.2 2.5 4.5
Full-Time ('000) 50.5 51.0 48.1 -0.5 -1.0 2.4 5.0
Part-Time ('000) 7.1 6.7 6.9 0.4 6.0 0.2 2.9
Unemployment ('000) 5.2 5.3 5.8 -0.1 -1.9 -0.6 -10.3
Unemployment Rate (%) 8.3 8.4 9.6 -0.1 - -1.3 -
Participation Rate (%) 73.6 73.7 72.0 -0.1 - 1.6 -
Employment Rate (%) 67.5 67.5 65.2 0.0 - 2.3 -

*Combined data — based on a 3 month moving average
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding
Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey

Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon monthly employment and unemployment rate
Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon monthly employment and unemployment rate. The data table for this graph is located below
Show data table: Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon monthly employment and unemployment rate
Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon
Monthly Employment and Unemployment Rate
Unemployment Rate (%) Employment ('000)
Oct-2014 7.5 54.5
Nov-2014 7.1 57.9
Dec-2014 7.7 53.0
Jan-2015 8.4 53.2
Feb-2015 8.4 53.5
Mar-2015 8.6 53.3
Apr-2015 8.6 53.2
May-2015 9.8 53.2
Jun-2015 10.1 53.6
Jul-2015 10.4 54.4
Aug-2015 9.8 55.1
Sep-2015 9.3 55.6
Oct-2015 9.6 55.0
Nov-2015 10.1 54.0
Dec-2015 10.6 53.5
Jan-2016 10.3 54.1
Feb-2016 9.7 54.7
Mar-2016 9.6 54.4
Apr-2016 8.8 54.8
May-2016 8.5 56.0
Jun-2016 8.6 57.6
Jul-2016 9.1 57.9
Aug-2016 8.9 58.0
Sep-2016 8.4 57.6
Oct-2016 8.3 57.5

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey

Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon* Monthly Unemployment Rates, by Gender and Age
Seasonally Unadjusted Data October 2016
(%)
September 2016
(%)
October 2015
(%)
Monthly Variation
(% points)
Yearly Variation
(% points)
Total 8.3 8.4 9.6 -0.1 -1.3
25 years and over 7.1 6.7 7.4 0.4 -0.3
Men - 25 years and over 8.2 8.2 8.2 0.0 0.0
Women - 25 years and over 5.8 5.2 6.5 0.6 -0.7
15 to 24 years 15.7 16.8 21.5 -1.1 -5.8
Men - 15 to 24 years 17.0 18.0 20.8 -1.0 -3.8
Women - 15 to 24 years 14.3 15.6 20.0 -1.3 -5.7

*Combined data — based on a 3 month moving average
Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey

Employment by industry

There were 8,600 people employed in the goods-producing sector in October, slightly fewer than in September (-100). Employment gains in the mining industry were offset by losses in the utilities industry.

Year-over-year, employment in the goods-producing sector decreased 7.5%, meaning 700 fewer people were employed in October compared to the same time last year. Employment losses in the sector are due almost entirely to falling employment in the forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas industry (-16.7%). This decline demonstrates the continuing impact that lower commodity prices are having on the territories' mining industry.

Moving forward, the goods-producing sector should see some growth over the next two years, as large-scale development projects and public infrastructure investments will help to generate new employment opportunities.

Overall, the number of people employed in the services-producing sector remained unchanged from the previous month. Falling employment in public administration over the month was offset by growing employment in educational services (+600).

Year-over-year, the number of people employed in the services-producing sector increased by 6.8% (+3,100). Notable annual employment gains were recorded in public administration (+1,500), health care and social assistance (+700), and educational services (+600). Positive employment growth in the services-producing sector is likely to continue moving forward as the need for government services, medical care, social assistance and education increases. This is especially the case in Nunavut, where the population is growing at a faster pace than other regions in Canada.

Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon* Monthly Labour Force Statistics, by Industry
Seasonally Unadjusted Data October 2016 September 2016 October 2015 Monthly Variation Yearly Variation
Number % Number %
Total employed, all industries 57.6 57.6 55.0 0.0 0.0 2.6 4.7
Goods-producing sector 8.6 8.7 9.3 -0.1 -1.1 -0.7 -7.5
Agriculture 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 - -0.2 -100.0
Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas 2.5 2.4 3 0.1 4.2 -0.5 -16.7
Utilities 0.8 0.9 0.7 -0.1 -11.1 0.1 14.3
Construction 4.8 4.8 4.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Manufacturing 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 -
Services-producing sector 48.9 48.9 45.8 0.0 0.0 3.1 6.8
Trade 6.0 6.1 5.9 -0.1 -1.6 0.1 1.7
Transportation and warehousing 3.0 3.2 2.8 -0.2 -6.3 0.2 7.1
Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing 2.7 2.6 2.1 0.1 3.8 0.6 28.6
Professional, scientific and technical services 2.5 2.6 2.8 -0.1 -3.8 -0.3 -10.7
Business, building and other support services 1.1 1.0 1.5 0.1 10.0 -0.4 -26.7
Educational services 5.6 4.9 5.0 0.7 14.3 0.6 12.0
Health care and social assistance 7.3 7.1 6.6 0.2 2.8 0.7 10.6
Information, culture and recreation 2.5 2.4 2.5 0.1 4.2 0.0 0.0
Accommodation and food services 3.1 3.3 3.2 -0.2 -6.1 -0.1 -3.1
Other services 2.1 2.3 2.0 -0.2 -8.7 0.1 5.0
Public administration 12.8 13.4 11.3 -0.6 -4.5 1.5 13.3

*Combined data — based on a 3 month moving average
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding
Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey

Regional analysis

Yukon

The number of people employed in Yukon grew by 200 in October, reaching 21,200. Employment is up both in the goods-producing sector (+3.3%) and in the services-producing sector (+0.6%) on a monthly basis.

On an annual basis, employment in the territory was up 5% (+1,000). Employment losses in the goods-producing sector (-200) were more than offset by gains in the services-producing sector (+1,200). Employment advanced considerably in several key industries in the services sector including trade (+20.0%), finance, insurance, real estate and leasing (+42.9%) and other services (+50.0%).

Moving forward, the territory should experience employment growth in construction-related industries over the medium-term. Construction projects such as the Robert Campbell Highway and Alaska Highway expansion, the Whitehorse and the Whistle Bend affordable housing development, and Kaminak Gold Corporation's Coffee gold project should generate employment opportunities for the territory over the next few years.

Northwest Territories

Employment in Northwest Territories dropped 0.9% to 22,700 in October, while its unemployment rate increased 0.5 percentage points to 7.0%. Year-over-year, the number of people employed in the territory was up 3.7% (+800). Job gains over the past year are due entirely to growth in the services-producing sector (+9.1%), with public administration and health care and social assistance seeing the largest increases, at 24.4% and 36.8% respectively.

The territory's economic outlook for the next two years is positive, as work continues on major projects such as the Stanton Territorial Hospital renewal project and the Dempster Highway extension project. Tourism should also create plenty of job opportunities for the territory, with all levels of government and the private sector planning to invest an estimated $15.7 million into the tourism industry over the next five years.Footnote 1 This funding is expected to also provide spin-off benefits for the accommodation and food services industry, as well as for the retail and transportation industries.

Nunavut

Employment in Nunavut was unchanged on a monthly basis in October but was up 6.2% year-over-year. Indeed, employment in the territory's goods-producing sector is up 33.3% (+500) compared to October 2015, while employment in the services-producing sector increased 2.6% (+300) during the same period.

Nunavut's short-term economic performance is expected to be better than its two territorial counterparts. Activity is expected to be brisk in the construction industry thanks to a number of private and public construction projects, including the Iqaluit Airport expansion project, the Canada High Arctic Research Station project, the $76 million Qikiqtani Correctional Healing Centre expansion project, and TMAC Resources Inc.'s Doris North Gold Mine project.

The Doris North Gold project alone will generate about 350 jobs annually during construction and operational phases between 2016 and 2022.Footnote 2 Apart from job creation, the project is expected to result in significant economic gains for the territory's Kitikmeot region, including an annual payment of $1 million through the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement between TMAC Resources and the Kitikmeot Inuit Association.Footnote 3

Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon Monthly Labour Force Statistics, by Economic Region
Seasonally Unadjusted Data Employment Unemployment Rate
October 2016
('000)
October 2015
('000)
Yearly Variation
(%)
October 2016
(%)
October 2015
(%)
Yearly Variation
(% points)
Territories* 57.5 55.0 4.5 8.3 9.6 -1.3
Northwest Territories 22.7 21.9 3.7 7.0 9.1 -2.1
Nunavut 13.7 12.9 6.2 14.9 17.3 -2.4
Yukon 21.2 20.2 5.0 4.9 4.3 0.6

*Combined data — based on a 3 month moving average
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding
Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey

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 Information (LMI) Directorate, Service Canada, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon
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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