Labour Market Bulletin - Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon: October 2015

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

The combined employment of Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon ended its upward trend this month as employment fell for the first time since April 2015. In fact, the number of people employed in the territories dropped 1.1% to 55,000, below the area's total employment from August. All losses were in full-time employment, with part-time employment edging upward.

Despite the drop from September, employment for the territories combined is up 0.9% (+500) on a year-over-year basis. This is due to modest year-over-year increase in both Yukon and Nunavut. Meanwhile employment in Northwest Territories changed very little over the same period.

Unemployment

The unemployment rate for the territories rose 0.3 percentage points to 9.6% in October. All three territories saw their unemployment rate increase year-over-year, while Nunavut posted the most significant increase, as the unemployment rate surged 3.2 percentage points to 17.3%.

For the combined territories, the unemployment rate for youth (aged 15-24 years) was 21.5% on the month, an increase of 2.5 percentage points over September. On a year-over-year basis, the unemployment rate for this age group increased 4.2 percentage points. The unemployment rate for young women and young men was similar, 20% and 20.8% respectively. By far the most striking figure is the unemployment rate for young men in Nunavut, which reached 44% in October.

Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon* Monthly Labour Force Statistics
Seasonally Unadjusted Data October 2015 September 2015 October 2014 Monthly Variation Yearly Variation
Number % Number %
Population 15 + ('000) 84.3 84.2 83.6 0.1 0.1 0.7 0.8
Labour Force ('000) 60.7 61.3 58.8 -0.6 -1.0 1.9 3.2
Employment ('000) 55.0 55.6 54.5 -0.6 -1.1 0.5 0.9
Full-Time ('000) 48.1 49.0 48.9 -0.9 -1.8 -0.8 -1.6
Part-Time ('000) 6.9 6.6 5.6 0.3 4.5 1.3 23.2
Unemployment ('000) 5.8 5.7 4.4 0.1 1.8 1.4 31.8
Unemployment Rate (%) 9.6 9.3 7.5 0.3 - 2.1 -
Participation Rate (%) 72.0 72.8 70.3 -0.8 - 1.7 -
Employment Rate (%) 65.2 66.0 65.2 -0.8 - 0.0 -

* Combined data - three 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-2013 8.9 55.4
Nov-2013 9.2 54.4
Dec-2013 8.6 55.1
Jan-2014 8.7 54.3
Feb-2014 8.4 54.2
Mar-2014 8.3 53.7
Apr-2014 8.2 53.9
May-2014 8.3 53.9
Jun-2014 8.9 54.2
Jul-2014 8.1 55.6
Aug-2014 7.9 56.2
Sep-2014 7.6 56.0
Oct-2014 7.5 54.5
Nov-2014 7.1 53.7
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

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey

Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon* Monthly Unemployment Rates, by Gender and Age
Seasonally Unadjusted Data October 2015 % September 2015 % October 2014 % Monthly Variation
(% points)
Yearly Variation
(% points)
Total 9.6 9.3 7.5 0.3 2.1
25 years and over 7.4 7.2 5.9 0.2 1.5
Men - 25 years and over 8.2 7.5 7.1 0.7 1.1
Women - 25 years and over 6.5 6.9 4.6 -0.4 1.9
15 to 24 years 21.5 19.0 17.3 2.5 4.2
Men - 15 to 24 years 20.8 17.3 23.3 3.5 -2.5
Women - 15 to 24 years 20.0 20.8 10.3 -0.8 9.7

* Combined data - three month moving average

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey

EMPLOYMENT BY INDUSTRY

The goods-producing sector gained ground in October, with employment reaching 9,300, an increase of 1.1%. Year-over-year, the sector saw employment rise 6.9% (+600). Results were mixed among the industries, with gains in construction and forestry, fishing, mining, oil and gas offset by declines in utilities and manufacturing.

Moving forward, the goods-producing sector should see some growth in 2015 and 2016. Funding from all levels of government will help to support growth in the construction industry and provide improvements to infrastructure, such as roads, airports, community facilities and hospitals. The gross domestic product (GDP) in the territories as a whole is forecast to grow 0.9% in 2015 and 1.6% in 2016, according to the Conference Board of Canada. Footnote 1

Focusing on the services-producing sector, employment declined 1.1% between September and October, with the largest percentage drop occurring in the finance, insurance and real estate industry (-300). On a year-over-year basis, the number of workers in the overall services sector remained flat. Public administration showed the largest decline, with the number of employed decreasing 800 while employment in accommodation and food services was up 700.

In spite of the recent decline, the medium-term outlook for this sector remains positive. Public administration, which accounts for a large share of employment in the territories (21%), should experience better growth in the near term as the need for government services increases. In addition, as new infrastructure and mining developments get underway, employment in industries such as trade and professional, scientific and technical services will likely see some signs of improvement over the next few years.

Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon* Monthly Labour Force Statistics, by Industry
Seasonally Unadjusted Data October 2015 September 2015 October 2014 Monthly Variation Yearly Variation
Number % Number %
Total employed, all industries 55.0 55.6 54.5 -0.6 -1.1 0.5 0.9
Goods-producing sector 9.3 9.2 8.7 0.1 1.1 0.6 6.9
Agriculture 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 -
Forestry, fishing, mining,
quarrying,
oil and gas
3.0 3.1 2.8 -0.1 -3.2 0.2 7.1
Utilities 0.7 0.7 0.9 0.0 0.0 -0.2 -22.2
Construction 4.8 4.7 4.6 0.1 2.1 0.2 4.3
Manufacturing 0.0 0.2 0.2 -0.2 -100.0 -0.2 -100.0
Services-producing sector 45.8 46.3 45.8 -0.5 -1.1 0.0 0.0
Trade 5.9 5.8 5.7 0.1 1.7 0.2 3.5
Transportation and warehousing 2.8 3.1 2.5 -0.3 -9.7 0.3 12.0
Finance, insurance, real
estate
and leasing
2.1 2.4 2.5 -0.3 -12.5 -0.4 -16.0
Professional, scientific
and technical services
2.8 2.9 3.1 -0.1 -3.4 -0.3 -9.7
Business, building
and other support services
1.5 1.5 1.6 0.0 0.0 -0.1 -6.3
Educational services 5.0 4.8 5.0 0.2 4.2 0.0 0.0
Health care and social
assistance
6.6 6.6 6.5 0.0 0.0 0.1 1.5
Information, culture and
reccreation
2.5 2.7 2.4 -0.2 -7.4 0.1 4.2
Accommodation and food
services
3.2 3.0 2.5 0.2 6.7 0.7 28.0
Other services 2.0 2.0 1.8 0.0 0.0 0.2 11.1
Public administration 11.3 11.6 12.1 -0.3 -2.6 -0.8 -6.6

* Combined data - three month moving average

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey

REGIONAL ANALYSIS

Yukon

Employment in Yukon experienced a small dip between September and October (-300) following three consecutive months of gains, now at 20,200. The drop can be entirely attributed to a decrease in the services-producing sector which saw employment down by 500 this month, while the goods producing sector saw an increase (+200).

Year-over-year, the number of employed in Yukon is up 1% (+200) in October. Yukon's goods-producing sector saw fairly strong growth, up 10% (+300) while the services-producing sector experienced an employment decline of 0.6% (-100) on the year.

With mineral commodity prices still low and exploration down, the outlook for Yukon's economy is forecasted to be weak in 2015. The territory's GDP is expected to decrease 3.4%. Footnote 2 Nonetheless, projects such as the Whitehorse General Hospital expansion,the 750 kilometre Dempster Highway fibre optic cable installation and construction of the Salvation Army Centre of Hope should create job opportunities for the territory over the medium-term.

Northwest Territories

Employment in the Northwest Territories decreased in October (-300) compared to the previous month. However, employment in the territory remained unchanged year-over-year. Employment results were mixed between the two sectors with the goods-producing sector seeing gains, while employment in the services-producing sector saw declines. Many industries experience large percentage swings in employment, notably accommodation and food services increased 42.9%, while finance, insurance and real estate employment fell 27.3%.

Looking ahead, the territory's economic outlook should improve in the medium-term, as a number of public and private projects will provide some support for construction and related industries. In the short term, the $350 million Stanton Territorial Hospital renewal project broke ground this month, while the Gahcho Kué diamond mine reached 70% completion. Into next year, the new female correctional facility in Fort Smith should help create jobs in the territory.

Nunavut

The number of people employed in Nunavut remained stable between September and October at 12,900. The small decline in the goods-producing sector (-100) was offset by a slight gain in the services-producing sector (+100).

On a year-over-year basis, the number of people employed increased 2.3% (+300). Employment is up in both sectors, with very mixed results in the services-producing sector. Many industries made small gains since last year, while public administration employment fell by -500, a decrease of 13.2%.

The territory's economic performance is expected to remain positive this year, as work continues on the $300M Iqaluit Airport and the $142M Canadian High Arctic Research Station. Meanwhile, future projects such as the $68M renovation of the Baffin Correctional Centre and the Meliadine gold mine development will create jobs in the medium-term. The territorial GDP is projected to advance 3.8% in 2015, representing the largest growth among the territories according to the Conference Board forecast.Footnote 3

Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon* Monthly Labour Force Statistics, by Economic Region
Seasonally Unadjusted Data Employment Unemployment Rate
October 2015
('000)
October 2014
('000)
Yearly Variation
(%)
October 2015
(%)
October 2014
(%)
Yearly Variation
(% points)
Territories* 55.0 54.5 0.9 9.6 7.5 2.1
Northwest Territories 21.9 21.9 0.0 9.1 7.6 1.5
Nunavut 12.9 12.6 2.4 17.3 14.1 3.2
Yukon 20.2 20.0 1.0 4.3 2.9 1.4

* Combined data - three 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, Western and Territories Region, 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.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Conference Board of Canada (CBOC) Territorial Outlook: Economic Forecast Summer 2015

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

Ibid

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Footnote 3

Ibid

Return to footnote 3 referrer

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