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The Labour Market

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Fact Sheet #1: Labour Force Rates

[printable version of Labour Force Rates]

This labour market fact sheet includes an analysis of current data for Canada and the provinces on:

  • Participation rates;
  • Employment rates;
  • Unemployment rates; and
  • Long-term unemployment.

Other labour market fact sheets examine data on employment - full-time, part-time, and temporary employment - and on weekly earnings and minimum wage rates.

 

PARTICIPATION RATES

The participation rate is defined as the number of labour force participants expressed as a percentage of the population aged 15 and older. The rate for a particular group - by age, gender, or marital status, for example - is the number of labour force participants in that group expressed as a percentage of the population of that group.

  • In 2006, 17.6 million Canadians participated in the labour force. That was 67.2% of the population aged 15 and older. Participation rates have remained relatively stable over the last several years, rising 1.4 percentage points between 2000 and 2006.

  • The highest participation rate was among those aged 25 to 44, at 86.9%; this rate has been steady over the last six years. Between 2000 and 2006, the largest increase in participation rates was among those aged 45 to 64, which rose by 4 percentage points.

  • Approximately 331,800 Canadian seniors were part of the labour force in 2006. Participation rates among Canada’s seniors aged 65+ have been steadily rising, from 6% in 2000 to 8.3% by 2006.

  • Labour force participation rates are generally higher among men than women. In 2006, the rate for men was 72.5%, compared to 62.1% among women. The only exception was among those aged 15 to 24, where the rate for both genders was 66.4%. Men aged 25 to 44 had a participation rate of 92% and women, 81.8%. Among seniors, men had a participation rate of 12.1% in 2006, compared to only 5.2% among women. Between 2000 and 2006, the rate among senior men rose by 2.6% and among senior women, by 1.9%.

  • Provincially in 2006, participation rates were highest in Alberta (at 73.4%) and lowest in Newfoundland and Labrador (at 59.2%). Between 2000 and 2006, participation rates rose in all provinces, with the largest increase (3.8%) reported in Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • Among the working-age population 25 to 44 years, participation rates were highest in Prince Edward Island, at 90%, and lowest in Newfoundland and Labrador, at 82.8%.

  • Among seniors aged 65+, participation rates were highest in Saskatchewan, at 13.5%, and lowest in Newfoundland and Labrador, at 3.2%.

Labour Force Participation Rates (%) by Age Group,á
Canada and Provinces, 2000 to 2006
  2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 % pt change 2000 to 2006
Canada
Aged 15+á 65.8 65.9 66.9 67.5 67.5 67.2 67.2 1.4
15 to 24 yrs 64.4 64.7 66.6 67.4 67.0 65.9 66.4 2.0
25 to 44 yrs 65.8 65.9 66.9 67.5 67.5 67.2 67.2 1.4
45 to 64 yrs 69.8 70.2 71.7 73.2 73.5 73.5 73.8 4.0
Aged 65+ 6.0 6.1 6.7 7.5 7.7 8.1 8.3 2.3
Newfoundland and Labrador
Aged 15+á 55.4 56.8 58.2 59.3 59.2 58.8 59.2 3.8
15 to 24 yrs 47.3 50.7 53.5 55.1 55.0 54.0 53.7 6.4
25 to 44 yrs 77.6 79.5 80.4 81.3 80.7 81.4 82.8 5.2
45 to 64 yrs 56.5 58.4 60.8 62.2 62.9 62.3 63.4 6.9
Aged 65+ 2.7 1.3 2.2 2.9 3.5 3.8 3.2 0.5
Prince Edward Island
Aged 15+á 66.7 67.1 67.6 67.7 68.0 68.5 68.7 2.0
15 to 24 yrs 68.4 67.7 70.1 70.3 67.7 68.5 70.2 1.8
25 to 44 yrs 89.2 89.0 89.9 89.3 90.1 89.6 90.0 0.8
45 to 64 yrs 70.5 72.4 72.3 74.2 75.5 76.2 76.2 5.7
Aged 65+ 5.4 7.0 7.5 6.3 6.7 9.4 9.8 4.4
Nova Scotia
Aged 15+á 61.3 61.9 62.6 63.1 64.1 63.6 62.9 1.6
15 to 24 yrs 62.2 64.1 64.9 67.5 67.4 66.4 66.7 4.5
25 to 44 yrs 84.4 85.0 85.7 85.8 86.6 86.2 85.7 1.3
45 to 64 yrs 62.6 63.9 64.9 65.8 68.6 68.4 67.6 5.0
Aged 65+ 4.3 4.0 4.9 4.5 4.8 5.7 5.6 1.3
New Brunswick
Aged 15+á 61.5 61.9 63.4 63.2 63.9 63.6 63.7 2.2
15 to 24 yrs 61.4 64.0 66.3 65.0 65.7 65.2 66.1 4.7
25 to 44 yrs 84.1 83.9 85.6 85.1 85.3 85.9 86.7 2.6
45 to 64 yrs 62.9 63.8 65.6 66.7 68.6 68.4 68.4 5.5
Aged 65+ 3.6 3.6 4.3 4.7 4.9 4.5 4.7 1.1
Quebec
Aged 15+á 63.1 63.5 65.2 66.0 65.8 65.6 65.5 2.4
15 to 24 yrs 61.3 62.6 66.4 68.4 67.6 66.2 66.2 4.9
25 to 44 yrs 85.1 85.4 86.8 87.2 87.4 87.0 87.2 2.1
45 to 64 yrs 65.5 66.0 68.1 69.6 69.7 70.4 70.6 5.1
Aged 65+ 3.3 4.0 4.4 5.2 5.5 5.9 6.4 3.1
Ontario
Aged 15+á 67.0 67.3 67.7 68.5 68.4 68.0 67.7 0.7
15 to 24 yrs 66.1 65.7 66.5 67.2 66.6 64.7 64.6 -1.5
25 to 44 yrs 86.9 87.4 87.4 87.5 87.7 87.9 87.1 0.2
45 to 64 yrs 71.4 71.8 72.8 74.9 75.0 74.6 75.2 3.8
Aged 65+ 6.7 6.9 7.5 8.4 8.4 8.9 8.7 2.0
Manitoba
Aged 15+á 67.9 67.8 69.0 68.7 69.1 68.6 68.8 0.9
15 to 24 yrs 71.4 71.9 73.4 72.4 71.3 70.6 72.0 0.6
25 to 44 yrs 88.4 88.3 88.7 88.2 88.7 87.8 87.4 -1.0
45 to 64 yrs 74.1 74.2 77.2 77.0 77.9 77.5 77.4 3.3
Aged 65+ 8.4 7.5 7.2 8.1 8.4 9.0 10.0 1.6
Saskatchewan
Aged 15+á 66.8 65.6 66.8 67.8 67.9 68.1 69.1 2.3
15 to 24 yrs 66.1 65.0 66.4 68.1 68.2 68.5 71.0 4.9
25 to 44 yrs 87.4 86.6 87.9 88.5 88.4 88.2 89.2 1.8
45 to 64 yrs 75.8 75.4 77.4 78.7 78.6 78.4 79.3 3.5
Aged 65+ 13.3 10.9 10.9 11.6 12.4 13.1 13.5 0.2
Alberta
Aged 15+á 72.2 72.4 73.0 73.5 73.5 72.7 73.4 1.2
15 to 24 yrs 70.5 70.6 71.2 72.0 71.9 70.6 72.1 1.6
25 to 44 yrs 87.8 87.7 88.0 88.7 87.9 87.2 87.7 -0.1
45 to 64 yrs 76.7 78.3 79.7 79.8 80.9 80.3 80.8 4.1
Aged 65+ 10.3 9.4 9.7 11.3 12.4 11.6 12.1 1.8
British Columbia
Aged 15+á 64.8 64.0 65.1 65.6 65.5 65.6 65.7 0.9
15 to 24 yrs 61.4 60.5 63.4 63.1 63.3 64.8 66.1 4.7
25 to 44 yrs 84.4 84.2 84.9 85.4 86.3 85.3 85.4 1.0
45 to 64 yrs 71.8 70.5 71.5 73.1 72.4 73.2 72.8 1.0
Aged 65+ 5.2 5.2 6.6 7.2 7.1 8.1 8.2 3.0
Source: Calculations by the Canadian Council on Social Development using data from
Statistics Canada's Labour Force Historical Review, 2006.

 

EMPLOYMENT RATES

The employment rate is defined as the number of persons who are employed expressed as a percentage of the Canadian population aged 15 and older. The employment rate for a particular group − by age, gender, or marital status, for example − is the number in that group who are employed expressed as a percentage of the population for that group.

  • The overall employment rate in Canada in 2006 was 63%, and for young adults aged 15 to 24, it was 58.7%. Employment rates were highest among workers aged 25 to 44, at 82%; for those aged 45 to 64, the rate was 70.2%. Employment rates were lowest among seniors over age 65, at 7.9%.

  • Between 2000 and 2006, employment rates rose across all age groups. The largest growth in rates over this six-year period was among those aged 25 to 44 − an increase of 4 percentage points.

  • As noted above, employment rates were highest among workers aged 25 to 44, with higher rates for men in this age group than for women (86.8% compared to 77.2%). With the exception of young adults 15 to 24 years, employment rates were higher for men than for women across all age groups in 2006.

  • Between 2000 and 2006, the largest rise in employment rates was in Newfoundland and Labrador (4.3 percentage points), while Ontario recorded the smallest increase (0.3 percentage points). Across all provinces, employment rates rose the most among workers aged 45 to 64, with the most dramatic growth in Newfoundland and Labrador (6.7 percentage point increase).

  Employment Rates, Canada and Provinces, by Gender and Age Group, 2000 to 2006  
  Per cent (%) % pt change 2000 to 2006  
      2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006  
  Canada    
  Both genders Aged 15+á 61.3 61.1 61.7 62.4 62.7 62.7 63.0 1.7  
  15 to 24 yrs 56.3 56.3 57.5 58.3 58.0 57.8 58.7 2.4  
  25 to 44 yrs 80.8 80.6 80.8 81.2 81.7 81.8 82.0 1.2  
  45 to 64 yrs 66.2 66.3 67.5 68.9 69.5 69.6 70.2 4.0  
    Aged 65+ 5.9 5.9 6.5 7.2 7.4 7.8 7.9 2.0  
  Men Aged 15+á 67.3 66.8 67.1 67.6 67.8 67.7 67.7 0.4  
  15 to 24 yrs 56.8 56.5 57.4 57.9 57.7 56.7 57.9 1.1  
  25 to 44 yrs 86.5 85.9 85.7 86.1 86.3 86.7 86.8 0.3  
  45 to 64 yrs 73.8 73.5 74.1 74.9 75.7 75.9 75.7 1.9  
    Aged 65+ 9.3 9.1 10.0 11.1 11.4 11.7 11.5 2.2  
  Women Aged 15+á 55.4 55.6 56.6 57.4 57.8 57.8 58.3 2.9  
  15 to 24 yrs 55.7 56.2 57.6 58.6 58.4 58.9 59.5 3.8  
  25 to 44 yrs 75.1 75.3 75.9 76.2 77.0 77.0 77.2 2.1  
  45 to 64 yrs 58.7 59.3 61.0 63.1 63.6 63.5 64.9 6.2  
    Aged 65+ 3.2 3.3 3.7 4.1 4.3 4.8 5.0 1.8  
  Newfoundland and Labrador  
  Both genders Aged 15+á 46.1 47.7 48.5 49.5 49.8 49.8 50.4 4.3  
  15 to 24 yrs 35.1 38.2 41.4 42.0 42.7 42.4 41.4 6.3  
  25 to 44 yrs 65.2 67.3 66.9 68.5 68.1 69.5 71.2 6.0  
  45 to 64 yrs 48.6 50.7 52.2 53.2 54.6 53.7 55.3 6.7  
    Aged 65+ 2.7 1.2 2.0 2.8 3.4 3.5 2.9 0.2  
  Men Aged 15+á 49.9 51.0 52.0 52.7 53.4 53.0 52.7 2.8  
  15 to 24 yrs 34.3 36.8 42.2 41.3 42.5 41.4 39.9 5.6  
  25 to 44 yrs 69.0 69.3 69.0 69.7 70.3 71.9 72.5 3.5  
  45 to 64 yrs 54.9 57.6 58.0 59.2 60.3 58.9 59.1 4.2  
    Aged 65+ 4.2 2.2 3.3 5.4 5.7 4.5 4.7 0.5  
  Women Aged 15+á 42.5 44.6 45.3 46.5 46.5 46.8 48.3 5.8  
  15 to 24 yrs 36.3 39.5 40.5 42.7 43.1 43.7 42.9 6.6  
  25 to 44 yrs 61.5 65.5 65.0 67.5 66.1 67.1 69.9 8.4  
  45 to 64 yrs 42.6 44.0 46.6 47.3 49.1 48.6 51.7 9.1  
    Aged 65+ 1.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.6 1.4 -0.2  
  Prince Edward Island  
  Both genders Aged 15+á 58.7 59.0 59.5 60.2 60.3 61.1 61.1 2.4  
  15 to 24 yrs 58.4 56.3 59.3 60.0 55.9 57.4 60.1 1.7  
  25 to 44 yrs 78.4 79.1 79.6 79.9 80.4 80.9 80.2 1.8  
  45 to 64 yrs 63.0 64.3 64.1 66.6 68.4 68.7 68.6 5.6  
    Aged 65+ 5.4 7.0 6.9 5.7 6.7 8.9 8.7 3.3  
  Men Aged 15+á 62.2 63.2 62.5 63.6 63.2 63.5 63.5 1.3  
  15 to 24 yrs 58.9 56.3 58.2 60.2 55.1 54.1 57.6 -1.3  
  25 to 44 yrs 80.1 82.4 80.9 81.2 82.7 81.5 80.0 -0.1  
  45 to 64 yrs 67.5 69.1 68.6 70.7 71.9 72.1 73.3 5.8  
    Aged 65+ 8.2 12.2 11.8 9.0 10.1 15.0 13.6 5.4  
  Women Aged 15+á 55.3 55.0 56.7 57.0 57.7 58.9 58.9 3.6  
  15 to 24 yrs 58.5 56.8 60.4 59.8 56.7 61.2 63.0 4.5  
  25 to 44 yrs 76.8 76.0 78.8 78.6 79.2 80.3 80.4 3.6  
  45 to 64 yrs 58.3 59.5 59.8 62.2 65.1 65.4 64.6 6.3  
    Aged 65+ 2.1 3.1 3.1 3.0 4.0 4.0 5.9 3.8  
  Nova Scotia  
  Both genders Aged 15+á 55.7 55.9 56.6 57.3 58.4 58.2 57.9 2.2  
  15 to 24 yrs 52.4 52.8 53.4 56.8 57.2 56.4 57.5 5.1  
  25 to 44 yrs 77.2 77.6 78.5 79.0 79.5 79.5 79.6 2.4  
  45 to 64 yrs 58.4 59.3 60.2 60.8 63.8 64.0 63.2 4.8  
    Aged 65+ 4.0 3.9 4.8 4.3 4.7 5.3 5.4 1.4  
  Men Aged 15+á 60.7 60.6 60.6 61.5 62.9 62.3 61.1 0.4  
  15 to 24 yrs 51.4 52.6 51.5 55.1 56.5 54.6 55.9 4.5  
  25 to 44 yrs 82.0 82.3 81.7 81.9 83.5 82.6 82.3 0.3  
  45 to 64 yrs 65.1 64.6 66.2 67.4 69.6 70.1 67.3 2.2  
    Aged 65+ 6.3 6.4 7.2 7.1 7.4 8.3 7.8 1.5  
  Women Aged 15+á 51.0 51.6 52.8 53.3 54.2 54.5 55.0 4.0  
  15 to 24 yrs 53.4 52.9 55.3 58.6 58.1 58.3 59.4 6.0  
  25 to 44 yrs 72.7 73.2 75.3 76.2 75.7 76.7 77.1 4.4  
  45 to 64 yrs 51.9 54.1 54.4 54.4 58.3 58.3 59.2 7.3  
    Aged 65+ 2.4 2.0 2.9 2.2 2.6 3.0 3.5 1.1  
  New Brunswick  
  Both genders Aged 15+á 55.4 55.0 57.0 56.7 57.6 57.4 58.1 2.7  
  15 to 24 yrs 51.7 53.0 56.2 54.4 55.7 55.4 56.9 5.2  
  25 to 44 yrs 76.4 75.6 77.8 76.9 77.4 78.3 80.0 3.6  
  45 to 64 yrs 57.6 57.4 59.5 61.1 63.2 62.5 63.0 5.4  
    Aged 65+ 3.5 3.3 4.2 4.3 4.7 4.3 4.5 1.0  
  Men Aged 15+á 60.3 59.2 60.4 60.1 60.7 60.5 61.3 1.0  
  15 to 24 yrs 49.7 50.8 53.1 52.3 53.1 53.7 55.8 6.1  
  25 to 44 yrs 79.7 78.9 80.5 78.7 79.5 80.5 81.5 1.8  
  45 to 64 yrs 65.7 63.3 64.4 66.4 67.5 66.2 67.0 1.3  
    Aged 65+ 6.6 6.3 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.3 7.3 0.7  
  Women Aged 15+á 50.7 51.1 53.6 53.5 54.7 54.5 55.1 4.4  
  15 to 24 yrs 53.8 55.2 59.3 56.4 58.4 57.4 58.0 4.2  
  25 to 44 yrs 73.2 72.5 75.2 75.2 75.3 76.0 78.4 5.2  
  45 to 64 yrs 49.4 51.5 54.6 56.0 58.8 59.0 59.0 9.6  
    Aged 65+ 1.3 1.1 2.1 2.4 2.9 2.7 2.3 1.0  
  Quebec  
  Both genders Aged 15+á 57.8 57.9 59.5 60.0 60.2 60.1 60.2 2.4  
  15 to 24 yrs 52.7 54.0 57.3 58.8 57.8 57.3 57.2 4.5  
  25 to 44 yrs 78.7 78.5 80.1 79.8 80.5 80.1 80.8 2.1  
  45 to 64 yrs 60.7 61.0 62.9 64.2 64.9 65.7 65.8 5.1  
    Aged 65+ 3.2 3.7 4.2 5.0 5.3 5.7 6.0 2.8  
  Men Aged 15+á 64.5 64.4 65.7 65.3 65.3 65.0 65.0 0.5  
  15 to 24 yrs 54.9 55.5 58.1 57.9 56.7 55.6 57.1 2.2  
  25 to 44 yrs 83.8 83.2 84.7 83.8 83.9 83.4 84.4 0.6  
  45 to 64 yrs 69.5 69.8 70.7 71.0 71.9 72.3 71.4 1.9  
    Aged 65+ 5.6 6.3 7.3 8.2 8.4 8.7 8.6 3.0  
  Women Aged 15+á 51.4 51.7 53.7 54.9 55.3 55.5 55.6 4.2  
  15 to 24 yrs 50.4 52.5 56.5 59.7 59.0 59.0 57.3 6.9  
  25 to 44 yrs 73.5 73.7 75.3 75.6 76.9 76.7 77.1 3.6  
  45 to 64 yrs 52.1 52.5 55.4 57.6 58.2 59.3 60.4 8.3  
    Aged 65+ 1.4 1.9 2.0 2.6 2.9 3.4 4.0 2.6  
  Ontario  
  Both genders Aged 15+á 63.2 63.0 62.9 63.8 63.8 63.5 63.5 0.3  
  15 to 24 yrs 58.2 57.4 57.3 57.5 57.2 55.7 56.1 -2.1  
  25 to 44 yrs 82.6 82.5 81.7 82.2 82.5 83.0 82.3 -0.3  
  45 to 64 yrs 68.5 68.6 69.3 71.3 71.6 71.1 72.0 3.5  
    Aged 65+ 6.4 6.7 7.3 8.1 8.2 8.6 8.3 1.9  
  Men Aged 15+á 69.2 68.6 68.2 69.0 68.9 68.6 68.1 -1.1  
  15 to 24 yrs 58.1 56.7 56.6 57.4 56.7 54.2 54.9 -3.2  
  25 to 44 yrs 88.8 88.2 86.7 87.9 87.8 88.2 87.5 -1.3  
  45 to 64 yrs 76.1 75.7 76.0 76.8 77.4 77.6 77.2 1.1  
    Aged 65+ 9.5 10.1 10.9 11.9 12.3 12.6 12.0 2.5  
  Women Aged 15+á 57.3 57.6 57.8 58.7 58.8 58.6 59.0 1.7  
  15 to 24 yrs 58.4 58.2 58.0 57.6 57.7 57.3 57.4 -1.0  
  25 to 44 yrs 76.4 76.9 76.6 76.6 77.2 77.8 77.1 0.7  
  45 to 64 yrs 61.1 61.7 62.7 66.0 65.9 64.8 67.0 5.9  
    Aged 65+ 4.1 4.1 4.5 5.1 4.8 5.3 5.3 1.2  
  Manitoba  
  Both genders Aged 15+á 64.5 64.4 65.5 65.3 65.4 65.3 65.8 1.3  
  15 to 24 yrs 64.7 64.9 65.9 65.5 63.5 63.8 65.6 0.9  
  25 to 44 yrs 84.5 84.5 84.9 84.2 84.6 84.2 84.2 -0.3  
  45 to 64 yrs 71.5 71.6 74.4 74.4 75.2 74.9 75.1 3.6  
    Aged 65+ 8.2 7.3 7.0 7.9 8.2 8.8 9.8 1.6  
  Men Aged 15+á 71.0 70.9 71.2 71.0 70.7 70.8 71.2 0.2  
  15 to 24 yrs 66.4 66.9 66.9 66.5 64.2 64.3 66.2 -0.2  
  25 to 44 yrs 89.9 90.0 89.8 88.9 89.2 89.0 89.5 -0.4  
  45 to 64 yrs 78.2 78.3 79.6 79.9 80.3 80.2 79.5 1.3  
    Aged 65+ 13.7 11.8 12.0 13.5 13.0 13.7 14.9 1.2  
  Women Aged 15+á 58.3 58.1 60.0 59.8 60.3 60.1 60.7 2.4  
  15 to 24 yrs 62.9 62.8 64.9 64.6 63.0 63.3 65.1 2.2  
  25 to 44 yrs 79.2 78.8 80.0 79.4 80.0 79.3 78.7 -0.5  
  45 to 64 yrs 65.0 65.0 69.3 69.1 70.2 69.8 70.7 5.7  
    Aged 65+ 4.1 4.0 3.3 3.8 4.6 5.0 5.8 1.7  
  Saskatchewan  
  Both genders Aged 15+á 63.3 61.8 63.1 64.0 64.3 64.6 65.9 2.6  
  15 to 24 yrs 59.1 57.5 59.2 60.8 61.1 61.5 64.9 5.8  
  25 to 44 yrs 83.6 82.1 83.5 83.8 84.1 84.5 85.4 1.8  
  45 to 64 yrs 73.0 72.6 74.2 75.9 75.8 75.5 76.5 3.5  
    Aged 65+ 13.3 10.8 10.7 11.4 12.0 12.9 13.4 0.1  
  Men Aged 15+á 69.7 68.2 69.2 69.3 69.7 70.3 71.3 1.6  
  15 to 24 yrs 60.4 58.8 62.2 62.1 62.7 63.4 66.6 6.2  
  25 to 44 yrs 88.8 87.7 88.0 88.1 88.5 88.9 89.8 1.0  
  45 to 64 yrs 79.3 79.0 80.0 80.6 80.1 79.8 80.7 1.4  
    Aged 65+ 22.2 18.3 18.2 18.1 19.6 22.0 21.3 -0.9  
  Women Aged 15+á 57.2 55.7 57.1 58.9 59.1 59.0 60.6 3.4  
  15 to 24 yrs 57.6 56.2 56.0 59.5 59.4 59.5 62.9 5.3  
  25 to 44 yrs 78.5 76.4 78.9 79.6 79.9 80.0 81.1 2.6  
  45 to 64 yrs 66.8 66.2 68.4 71.1 71.6 71.2 72.3 5.5  
    Aged 65+ 6.2 4.8 4.8 6.0 5.9 5.7 7.1 0.9  
  Alberta  
  Both genders Aged 15+á 68.6 69.0 69.1 69.8 70.1 69.8 70.8 2.2  
  15 to 24 yrs 63.1 64.1 63.6 65.4 65.8 65.4 67.2 4.1  
  25 to 44 yrs 84.3 84.1 84.0 84.7 84.2 84.3 85.2 0.9  
  45 to 64 yrs 74.3 76.0 76.9 76.7 78.3 77.9 78.7 4.4  
    Aged 65+ 10.1 9.2 9.5 11.1 12.1 11.3 11.9 1.8  
  Men Aged 15+á 75.2 75.1 74.9 75.7 76.1 76.1 76.9 1.7  
  15 to 24 yrs 64.7 65.3 64.3 65.7 67.7 66.4 67.3 2.6  
  25 to 44 yrs 90.8 90.5 90.0 91.3 90.4 92.0 91.9 1.1  
  45 to 64 yrs 81.9 82.6 83.6 82.9 84.3 83.6 85.6 3.7  
    Aged 65+ 16.2 14.6 14.3 17.3 17.5 16.9 17.4 1.2  
  Women Aged 15+á 62.0 62.8 63.2 63.7 64.1 63.4 64.6 2.6  
  15 to 24 yrs 61.3 62.8 62.9 65.2 63.8 64.4 67.1 5.8  
  25 to 44 yrs 77.5 77.5 77.8 77.8 77.7 76.3 78.2 0.7  
  45 to 64 yrs 66.5 69.3 70.1 70.4 72.1 72.0 71.7 5.2  
    Aged 65+ 5.0 4.6 5.5 5.9 7.7 6.6 7.2 2.2  
  British Columbia  
  Both genders Aged 15+á 60.2 59.0 59.6 60.3 60.9 61.8 62.5 2.3  
  15 to 24 yrs 53.0 52.1 53.8 54.0 54.8 58.2 60.7 7.7  
  25 to 44 yrs 78.9 78.0 78.1 79.2 80.9 80.9 81.8 2.9  
  45 to 64 yrs 68.1 66.6 67.1 68.5 68.3 69.5 70.0 1.9  
    Aged 65+ 5.1 4.9 6.2 6.9 6.8 7.8 7.7 2.6  
  Men Aged 15+á 65.2 63.6 63.9 64.8 65.5 66.7 67.2 2.0  
  15 to 24 yrs 52.3 51.3 53.0 52.9 53.7 57.2 58.7 6.4  
  25 to 44 yrs 84.7 83.3 83.0 83.9 85.4 86.4 87.1 2.4  
  45 to 64 yrs 74.0 72.3 72.2 74.5 74.7 76.0 76.3 2.3  
    Aged 65+ 7.8 6.7 9.0 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.9 3.1  
  Women Aged 15+á 55.3 54.6 55.4 55.9 56.4 57.1 58.0 2.7  
  15 to 24 yrs 53.7 52.8 54.7 55.2 56.0 59.4 62.8 9.1  
  25 to 44 yrs 73.2 72.8 73.4 74.5 76.5 75.4 76.6 3.4  
  45 to 64 yrs 62.2 61.0 62.0 62.7 62.1 63.2 63.9 1.7  
    Aged 65+ 2.9 3.4 3.9 4.0 3.9 5.5 5.0 2.1  
  Source: Calculations by the Canadian Council on Social Development using data from Statistics Canada's Labourá  
  Force Historical Review, 2006.                  

UNEMPLOYMENT RATES

The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons expressed as a percentage of the labour force. The unemployment rate for a particular group − by age, gender, or marital status, for example − is the number in that group who are unemployed expressed as a percentage of the labour force for that group.

  • Unemployment rates in Canada hit a low of 6.8% in 2000, rose to 7.2% in 2001, and peaked at 7.7% in 2002. Rates declined very slightly to 7.6% the following year, then dropped steadily to reach 6.3% in 2006.

  • There was little variation between the unemployment rates of men and women in 2006; the overall rate for men was 6.5% and for women, 6.1%. The greatest difference was among young adults aged 15 to 24, where men had an unemployment rate of 12.8% in 2006, compared to 10.4% among young women.

  • Across the provinces in 2006, unemployment rates were highest in Newfoundland and Labrador, at 14.8%. Unemployment rates in all four Atlantic provinces exceded 8%. Rates were lowest in Western Canada, with Alberta recording the lowest unemployment rate in 2006, at 3.4%.  

LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT

Long-term unemployment is defined as unemployment of 53 weeks duration or more.

  • 1.1 million Canadians over age 15 were unemployed in 2006, and of those, 4.5% were unemployed for more than 53 weeks. Between 2000 and 2006, the number of long-term unemployed fluctuated, but it dropped by 31% over that period.

  • Of the 50,500 Canadians who experienced long-term unemployment in 2006, 71.9% were aged 25 to 54, 18% were aged 55 to 64, and the remaining 10.1% were young adults 15 to 24 years and seniors aged 65+.

  • Men were more likely than women to experience long-term unemployment − 62% compared to 38%.

  • Provincially, long-term unemployment was highest in Quebec in 2006, at 6.4%. In Alberta, no individuals were unemployed for more than 53 weeks.

  Unemployment Rates, Canada and Provinces, by Gender and Age Group, 2000 to 2006  
  Per cent (%) % pt change 2000 to 2006  
      2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006  
  Canada    
  Both genders Aged 15+á 6.8 7.2 7.7 7.6 7.2 6.8 6.3 -0.5  
  15 to 24 yrs 12.7 12.9 13.6 13.6 13.4 12.4 11.6 -1.1  
  25 to 44 yrs 6.0 6.5 7.0 6.8 6.5 6.0 5.6 -0.4  
  45 to 64 yrs 5.3 5.5 5.8 5.9 5.4 5.3 4.9 -0.4  
    Aged 65+ 2.6 3.3 3.2 3.4 3.2 3.4 4.4 1.8  
  Men Aged 15+á 6.9 7.5 8.1 7.9 7.5 7.0 6.5 -0.4  
  15 to 24 yrs 13.8 14.5 15.3 15.3 14.9 14.2 12.8 -1.0  
  25 to 44 yrs 6.0 6.7 7.2 6.9 6.6 6.1 5.7 -0.3  
  45 to 64 yrs 5.2 5.6 6.1 6.2 5.5 5.3 5.0 -0.2  
    Aged 65+ 2.6 2.9 3.0 3.5 3.1 3.2 4.6 2.0  
  Women Aged 15+á 6.7 6.9 7.1 7.2 6.9 6.5 6.1 -0.6  
  15 to 24 yrs 11.4 11.1 11.7 11.8 11.7 10.6 10.4 -1.0  
  25 to 44 yrs 6.0 6.3 6.7 6.8 6.4 6.0 5.6 -0.4  
  45 to 64 yrs 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.5 5.2 5.2 4.7 -0.6  
    Aged 65+ 2.9 4.2 3.5 3.1 3.4 3.8 4.0 1.1  
  Newfoundland and Labrador  
  Both genders Aged 15+á 16.7 16.1 16.7 16.5 15.7 15.2 14.8 -1.9  
  15 to 24 yrs 25.5 24.7 22.6 23.7 22.4 21.4 22.9 -2.6  
  25 to 44 yrs 16.0 15.2 16.7 15.7 15.6 14.6 14.0 -2.0  
  45 to 64 yrs 14.0 13.2 14.1 14.6 13.1 13.7 12.9 -1.1  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Men Aged 15+á 17.7 17.9 18.1 17.9 17.1 16.3 16.6 -1.1  
  15 to 24 yrs 29.6 29.3 24.2 27.6 25.4 24.5 26.0 -3.6  
  25 to 44 yrs 16.5 17.1 18.7 17.5 16.9 15.6 16.2 -0.3  
  45 to 64 yrs 14.8 14.1 15.0 14.6 14.4 14.4 14.0 -0.8  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Women Aged 15+á 15.6 14.0 15.1 14.9 14.2 14.0 12.9 -2.7  
  15 to 24 yrs 21.7 19.7 20.9 19.4 19.1 18.1 19.3 -2.4  
  25 to 44 yrs 15.4 13.3 14.6 13.8 14.2 13.6 12.0 -3.4  
  45 to 64 yrs 12.9 12.0 12.7 14.6 11.8 12.9 11.4 -1.5  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Prince Edward Island  
  Both genders Aged 15+á 12.1 11.9 12.0 11.0 11.3 10.8 11.0 -1.1  
  15 to 24 yrs 14.6 16.2 15.4 14.6 17.4 16.3 14.4 -0.2  
  25 to 44 yrs 12.1 11.2 11.5 10.5 10.7 9.5 10.8 -1.3  
  45 to 64 yrs 10.6 11.2 11.3 10.3 9.5 9.8 10.0 -0.6  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 11.1 11.1  
  Men Aged 15+á 13.2 12.7 13.0 11.8 12.0 12.5 12.9 -0.3  
  15 to 24 yrs 16.2 19.4 17.4 15.7 19.4 21.7 18.6 2.4  
  25 to 44 yrs 13.1 11.5 12.4 12.0 10.8 11.0 12.5 -0.6  
  45 to 64 yrs 11.6 10.9 11.5 10.2 9.9 10.2 10.5 -1.1  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Women Aged 15+á 11.1 11.3 10.9 10.2 10.5 8.8 9.3 -1.8  
  15 to 24 yrs 12.7 14.3 13.2 13.4 15.4 10.4 10.0 -2.7  
  25 to 44 yrs 11.1 10.2 10.1 9.0 10.1 7.9 9.3 -1.8  
  45 to 64 yrs 9.5 11.6 10.3 10.4 9.0 9.4 9.4 -0.1  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Nova Scotia    
  Both genders Aged 15+á 9.1 9.7 9.6 9.1 8.8 8.4 7.9 -1.2  
  15 to 24 yrs 15.8 17.7 17.8 15.9 15.1 15.0 13.7 -2.1  
  25 to 44 yrs 8.5 8.7 8.5 8.0 8.1 7.7 7.1 -1.4  
  45 to 64 yrs 6.8 7.3 7.2 7.6 7.0 6.3 6.4 -0.4  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 6.9 0.0 0.0  
  Men Aged 15+á 9.8 10.3 10.6 10.2 9.6 9.2 9.4 -0.4  
  15 to 24 yrs 17.8 19.3 21.3 18.9 17.6 16.9 16.5 -1.3  
  25 to 44 yrs 9.2 9.3 9.6 9.0 8.5 8.6 8.1 -1.1  
  45 to 64 yrs 7.2 7.7 7.3 7.8 7.6 6.7 7.7 0.5  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Women Aged 15+á 8.3 9.1 8.4 8.0 7.9 7.6 6.5 -1.8  
  15 to 24 yrs 13.7 16.1 14.3 12.5 12.2 13.1 10.9 -2.8  
  25 to 44 yrs 7.8 8.0 7.3 6.9 7.8 6.8 6.0 -1.8  
  45 to 64 yrs 6.3 7.0 7.2 7.2 6.2 5.9 5.0 -1.3  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  New Brunswick    
  Both genders Aged 15+á 10.0 11.1 10.2 10.3 9.8 9.7 8.8 -1.2  
  15 to 24 yrs 15.7 17.2 15.3 16.3 15.3 14.9 13.7 -2.0  
  25 to 44 yrs 9.0 9.8 9.1 9.6 9.3 8.8 7.7 -1.3  
  45 to 64 yrs 8.6 10.0 9.4 8.4 8.0 8.6 8.0 -0.6  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Men Aged 15+á 11.0 12.7 12.1 12.3 11.2 11.4 10.3 -0.7  
  15 to 24 yrs 19.0 20.9 18.8 19.8 18.2 18.2 16.2 -2.8  
  25 to 44 yrs 10.0 11.0 10.8 11.8 11.0 10.3 9.0 -1.0  
  45 to 64 yrs 8.9 11.5 11.0 9.9 8.8 10.0 9.5 0.6  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Women Aged 15+á 8.8 9.4 8.1 8.0 8.3 7.8 7.1 -1.7  
  15 to 24 yrs 12.2 13.5 11.7 12.6 12.6 11.5 11.4 -0.8  
  25 to 44 yrs 8.1 8.6 7.2 7.3 7.7 7.3 6.4 -1.7  
  45 to 64 yrs 8.2 8.4 7.5 6.7 7.1 7.1 6.2 -2.0  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Quebec    
  Both genders Aged 15+á 8.5 8.8 8.6 9.1 8.5 8.3 8.0 -0.5  
  15 to 24 yrs 13.9 13.7 13.6 14.1 14.4 13.5 13.6 -0.3  
  25 to 44 yrs 7.6 8.1 7.8 8.5 7.9 7.9 7.3 -0.3  
  45 to 64 yrs 7.3 7.5 7.6 7.7 6.9 6.7 6.7 -0.6  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 5.7 4.5 5.2 4.4 4.0 6.5 6.5  
  Men Aged 15+á 8.7 9.0 9.1 9.7 9.1 9.0 8.5 -0.2  
  15 to 24 yrs 14.8 15.0 15.1 16.2 16.5 15.7 15.0 0.2  
  25 to 44 yrs 8.0 8.4 8.1 8.8 8.5 8.4 7.7 -0.3  
  45 to 64 yrs 7.1 7.2 8.0 8.1 7.0 7.2 7.0 -0.1  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 5.6 4.8 0.0 7.3 7.3  
  Women Aged 15+á 8.2 8.5 8.1 8.5 7.8 7.5 7.5 -0.7  
  15 to 24 yrs 12.9 12.2 11.9 11.9 12.2 11.3 12.0 -0.9  
  25 to 44 yrs 7.1 7.7 7.5 8.1 7.2 7.3 6.9 -0.2  
  45 to 64 yrs 7.7 8.0 7.0 7.3 6.7 6.0 6.4 -1.3  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Ontario    
  Both genders Aged 15+á 5.8 6.3 7.1 6.9 6.8 6.6 6.3 0.5  
  15 to 24 yrs 11.9 12.5 13.9 14.4 14.1 13.9 13.1 1.2  
  25 to 44 yrs 4.9 5.6 6.5 6.0 6.0 5.6 5.5 0.6  
  45 to 64 yrs 4.1 4.5 4.8 4.8 4.6 4.8 4.3 0.2  
    Aged 65+ 3.1 2.6 2.2 3.0 2.7 3.5 4.4 1.3  
  Men Aged 15+á 5.6 6.5 7.4 7.1 6.9 6.6 6.4 0.8  
  15 to 24 yrs 12.8 14.2 15.8 15.9 15.8 16.1 14.3 1.5  
  25 to 44 yrs 4.5 5.4 6.5 5.7 5.8 5.4 5.5 1.0  
  45 to 64 yrs 3.8 4.6 4.9 5.1 4.6 4.4 4.3 0.5  
    Aged 65+ 2.9 2.5 2.3 3.1 2.1 3.0 4.7 1.8  
  Women Aged 15+á 6.0 6.2 6.8 6.8 6.6 6.5 6.2 0.2  
  15 to 24 yrs 10.8 10.8 11.9 12.8 12.4 11.6 12.0 1.2  
  25 to 44 yrs 5.3 5.7 6.5 6.4 6.2 5.8 5.6 0.3  
  45 to 64 yrs 4.4 4.5 4.8 4.4 4.5 5.3 4.3 -0.1  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.3 4.5 3.8 3.8  
  Manitoba    
  Both genders Aged 15+á 5.0 5.1 5.1 5.0 5.3 4.8 4.3 -0.7  
  15 to 24 yrs 9.4 9.8 10.1 9.5 10.9 9.7 8.8 -0.6  
  25 to 44 yrs 4.4 4.3 4.3 4.5 4.7 4.2 3.7 -0.7  
  45 to 64 yrs 3.5 3.5 3.7 3.4 3.4 3.3 3.0 -0.5  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Men Aged 15+á 5.1 5.1 5.5 5.3 5.6 5.1 4.5 -0.6  
  15 to 24 yrs 9.7 10.4 11.4 10.9 11.8 10.9 10.3 0.6  
  25 to 44 yrs 4.4 4.4 4.4 4.6 4.8 4.2 3.7 -0.7  
  45 to 64 yrs 3.8 3.3 4.1 3.4 3.7 3.5 2.8 -1.0  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Women Aged 15+á 4.8 5.0 4.7 4.7 5.0 4.4 4.1 -0.7  
  15 to 24 yrs 9.1 9.1 8.7 8.2 10.0 8.3 7.2 -1.9  
  25 to 44 yrs 4.2 4.2 4.0 4.4 4.4 4.1 3.7 -0.5  
  45 to 64 yrs 3.2 3.9 3.2 3.2 3.2 2.9 3.2 0.0  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Saskatchewan    
  Both genders Aged 15+á 5.1 5.8 5.7 5.6 5.3 5.1 4.7 -0.4  
  15 to 24 yrs 10.6 11.5 10.8 10.7 10.4 10.1 8.6 -2.0  
  25 to 44 yrs 4.4 5.2 5.0 5.3 4.8 4.2 4.2 -0.2  
  45 to 64 yrs 3.6 3.7 4.1 3.6 3.5 3.8 3.4 -0.2  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Men Aged 15+á 5.7 6.2 6.3 6.3 5.9 5.5 4.9 -0.8  
  15 to 24 yrs 12.3 13.0 12.2 11.7 11.9 11.1 8.8 -3.5  
  25 to 44 yrs 4.8 5.5 5.6 5.9 5.2 4.4 4.2 -0.6  
  45 to 64 yrs 4.0 3.9 4.5 4.3 4.1 4.3 4.1 0.1  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Women Aged 15+á 4.5 5.3 5.0 4.8 4.6 4.6 4.4 -0.1  
  15 to 24 yrs 8.6 9.5 9.2 9.5 8.7 8.9 8.3 -0.3  
  25 to 44 yrs 3.9 4.9 4.3 4.5 4.4 4.0 4.2 0.3  
  45 to 64 yrs 3.1 3.5 3.7 2.9 2.9 3.2 2.7 -0.4  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Alberta    
  Both genders Aged 15+á 5.0 4.6 5.3 5.1 4.6 3.9 3.4 -1.6  
  15 to 24 yrs 10.6 9.2 10.6 9.2 8.4 7.3 6.8 -3.8  
  25 to 44 yrs 4.0 4.1 4.5 4.4 4.2 3.3 2.8 -1.2  
  45 to 64 yrs 3.2 2.9 3.5 3.9 3.3 3.0 2.6 -0.6  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Men Aged 15+á 4.9 4.8 5.6 5.2 4.5 3.9 3.3 -1.6  
  15 to 24 yrs 11.3 10.5 11.9 10.2 9.1 8.0 7.5 -3.8  
  25 to 44 yrs 3.8 4.0 4.8 4.4 3.8 3.0 2.5 -1.3  
  45 to 64 yrs 3.3 2.9 3.5 4.0 3.1 3.1 2.4 -0.9  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Women Aged 15+á 5.0 4.5 4.9 4.9 4.7 4.0 3.6 -1.4  
  15 to 24 yrs 9.7 7.8 9.1 8.1 7.7 6.5 6.0 -3.7  
  25 to 44 yrs 4.3 4.1 4.1 4.5 4.6 3.8 3.2 -1.1  
  45 to 64 yrs 3.1 3.1 3.5 3.7 3.5 3.0 2.8 -0.3  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  British Columbia    
  Both genders Aged 15+á 7.1 7.7 8.5 8.0 7.2 5.9 4.8 -2.3  
  15 to 24 yrs 13.7 13.9 15.1 14.4 13.4 10.1 8.2 -5.5  
  25 to 44 yrs 6.5 7.4 8.0 7.3 6.3 5.2 4.2 -2.3  
  45 to 64 yrs 5.2 5.5 6.2 6.3 5.7 5.0 3.8 -1.4  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 5.7 5.7 4.3 4.2 3.4 5.9 5.9  
  Men Aged 15+á 7.5 8.6 9.1 8.2 7.3 5.8 4.6 -2.9  
  15 to 24 yrs 15.4 16.1 17.0 16.0 14.4 10.9 9.2 -6.2  
  25 to 44 yrs 6.6 8.0 8.3 7.2 6.3 5.0 3.9 -2.7  
  45 to 64 yrs 5.6 6.1 6.9 6.5 5.6 4.8 3.5 -2.1  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 5.4 5.4  
  Women Aged 15+á 6.7 6.8 7.8 7.8 7.1 5.9 4.9 -1.8  
  15 to 24 yrs 11.8 11.5 13.1 12.7 12.5 9.4 7.3 -4.5  
  25 to 44 yrs 6.4 6.6 7.6 7.4 6.2 5.4 4.6 -1.8  
  45 to 64 yrs 4.8 4.7 5.5 6.1 5.7 5.1 4.1 -0.7  
    Aged 65+ 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0  
  Source: Calculations by the Canadian Council on Social Development using data from Statistics Canada's Labourá  
  Force Historical Review, 2006.                  

 

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