Employment edged up for the second consecutive month in December, with an increase of 22,000. The unemployment rate held steady at 7.6%. Compared with December 2009, employment increased by 2.2% (+369,000), following a decline of 1.1% the previous year.
There were notable employment increases in December in manufacturing; transportation and warehousing; as well as in natural resources. At the same time, there were declines in construction; health care and social assistance; wholesale and retail trade; business building and other support services; as well as agriculture.
Full-time employment was up 38,000 in December, the fourth increase in the past five months. Despite these recent gains, part-time employment has grown faster (+3.4%) than full time (+1.9%) over the past 12 months. Full-time employment accounted for 81% of total employment in December.
Increases in the number of private sector employees in December were partly offset by declines in self-employment.
Among the provinces, Quebec, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador saw employment gains in December, while British Columbia posted declines. Employment was little changed in the other provinces.
Strong gains in manufacturing and transportation and warehousing
Following a decline of 29,000 the previous month, manufacturing employment increased by 66,000 in December. The bulk of the gains were in Ontario and Quebec and were spread across a number of industries. This follows little overall change in the manufacturing sector in the previous 18 months.Transportation and warehousing also saw a notable gain in December (+45,000). With this gain, employment in this industry was up 10.8% (+85,000) compared with December 2009.
More people working in the private sector
The number of private sector employees increased by 53,000 in December, while self-employment fell by 38,000. At the same time, public sector employment was little changed.
More youths working in December
Following a large decline in the number of 15- to 24-year-olds participating in the labour market in November, youth employment increased by 26,000 in December. Employment was little changed for the other demographic groups.