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Indicators of Well-being in Canada


Work - Unemployment Rate

Relevance

Unemployment is a difficult experience for many Canadians. In addition to the loss of work and income, unemployment can bring varying hardships for individuals and their families.

Summary

  • National Picture — The unemployment rate in 2012 was 7.2%, continuing a decline since a peak of 8.3% in 2009.
  • Gender — In 2012, the unemployment rate was 7.7% for men and 6.8% for women.
  • Age — By age group in 2012, the unemployment rate ranged from 4.6% for individuals 65 years of age and over to 14.3% for youth aged 15 to 24. 
  • Lone Parents, Recent Immigrants, Aboriginal People, and People with Disabilities — In 2006, the unemployment rate among some groups of the Canadian population was significantly higher than the Canadian average which at that time was 6.3%. For example, the rate was 12.3% for recent immigrants and 14.8% for Aboriginal people.
  • Regions — In 2012, the unemployment rate varied from 4.6% in Alberta to 12.5% in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • International Picture — In 2011, Canada's unemployment rate was lower than the overall OECD average (8.0 %).

National Picture

Between 1976 and 2012, the unemployment rate reached its highest levels in 1983 (12.0%) and 1993 (11.4%), following two major recessions in Canada. The effect of the 2008-2009 recession on unemployment was a lot milder. Indeed, even though the unemployment rate increased from a decades-low of 6.0% in 2007 to 8.3% in 2009, it never came close to the previous highs and decreased to 7.2% in 2012.


This Chart contains data for Unemployment rate, Canada, 1976-2012. Information is available in table below 2012 = 7.2 2011 = 7.4 2010 = 8.0 2009 = 8.3 2008 = 6.1 2007 = 6.0 2006 = 6.3 2005 = 6.8 2004 = 7.2 2003 = 7.6 2002 = 7.7 2001 = 7.2 2000 = 6.8 1999 = 7.6 1998 = 8.3 1997 = 9.1 1996 = 9.6 1995 = 9.5 1994 = 10.4 1993 = 11.4 1992 = 11.2 1991 = 10.3 1990 = 8.1 1989 = 7.5 1988 = 7.8 1987 = 8.8 1986 = 9.6 1985 = 10.5 1984 = 11.3 1983 = 12.0 1982 = 11.0 1981 = 7.6 1980 = 7.5 1979 = 7.5 1978 = 8.4 1977 = 8.0 1976 = 7.1 (percent of labour force) Unemployment rate, Canada, 1976-2012

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 282-0086 - Labour force survey estimates (LFS), supplementary unemployment rates by sex and age group, annual (rate), CANSIM (database).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Unemployment rate, Canada, 1976-2012 (percent of labour force)
1976197719781979198019811982198319841985198619871988198919901991199219931994199519961997199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012
7.18.08.47.57.57.611.012.011.310.59.68.87.87.58.110.311.211.410.49.59.69.18.37.66.87.27.77.67.26.86.36.06.18.38.07.47.2

Gender

From the mid-1970s to the late 1980s, the unemployment rate for men was usually lower than that for women. However since 1990, this trend has reversed and the unemployment rate for women has been consistently lower than that of their male counterparts. In 2012, the unemployment rate for women was 6.8%, while that for men was 7.7%.


This Chart contains data for Unemployment rate, by gender, 1976-2012. Information is available in table below 2012 (Men) = 7.7 2011 (Men) = 7.8 2010 (Men) = 8.7 2009 (Men) = 9.4 2008 (Men) = 6.6 2007 (Men) = 6.4 2006 (Men) = 6.5 2005 (Men) = 7.0 2004 (Men) = 7.5 2003 (Men) = 7.9 2002 (Men) = 8.1 2001 (Men) = 7.5 2000 (Men) = 6.9 1999 (Men) = 7.8 1998 (Men) = 8.5 1997 (Men) = 9.3 1996 (Men) = 9.9 1995 (Men) = 9.8 1994 (Men) = 10.9 1993 (Men) = 11.9 1992 (Men) = 12.0 1991 (Men) = 10.8 1990 (Men) = 8.2 1989 (Men) = 7.4 1988 (Men) = 7.4 1987 (Men) = 8.5 1986 (Men) = 9.5 1985 (Men) = 10.5 1984 (Men) = 11.4 1983 (Men) = 12.3 1982 (Men) = 11.2 1981 (Men) = 7.2 1980 (Men) = 7.0 1979 (Men) = 6.8 1978 (Men) = 7.6 1977 (Men) = 7.4 1976 (Men) = 6.4 2012 (Women) = 6.8 2011 (Women) = 7.0 2010 (Women) = 7.2 2009 (Women) = 7.0 2008 (Women) = 5.7 2007 (Women) = 5.6 2006 (Women) = 6.1 2005 (Women) = 6.5 2004 (Women) = 6.9 2003 (Women) = 7.2 2002 (Women) = 7.1 2001 (Women) = 6.9 2000 (Women) = 6.7 1999 (Women) = 7.3 1998 (Women) = 8.0 1997 (Women) = 8.9 1996 (Women) = 9.3 1995 (Women) = 9.1 1994 (Women) = 9.8 1993 (Women) = 10.7 1992 (Women) = 10.2 1991 (Women) = 9.7 1990 (Women) = 8.1 1989 (Women) = 7.8 1988 (Women) = 8.2 1987 (Women) = 9.2 1986 (Women) = 9.8 1985 (Women) = 10.6 1984 (Women) = 11.3 1983 (Women) = 11.6 1982 (Women) = 10.7 1981 (Women) = 8.3 1980 (Women) = 8.3 1979 (Women) = 8.7 1978 (Women) = 9.5 1977 (Women) = 9.2 1976 (Women) = 8.2 (percent of labour force) Unemployment rate, by gender, 1976-2012

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 282-0086 - Labour force survey estimates (LFS), supplementary unemployment rates by sex and age group, annual (rate), CANSIM (database).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Unemployment rate, by gender, 1976-2012 (percent of labour force)
1976197719781979198019811982198319841985198619871988198919901991199219931994199519961997199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012
Men6.47.47.66.87.07.211.212.311.410.59.58.57.47.48.210.812.011.910.99.89.99.38.57.86.97.58.17.97.57.06.56.46.69.48.77.87.7
Women8.29.29.58.78.38.310.711.611.310.69.89.28.27.88.19.710.210.79.89.19.38.98.07.36.76.97.17.26.96.56.15.65.77.07.27.06.8

Age

Unemployment generally decreases with age. In 2012, the unemployment rate ranged from 4.6% for individuals 65 years of age and over who were in the labour force to 14.3% for youth aged 15 to 24.


This Chart contains data for Unemployment rate, by age, 2012. Information is available in table below 65+ years = 4.6 55-64 years = 6.3 25-54 years = 6.0 15-24 years = 14.3 (percent of labour force) Unemployment rate, by age, 2012

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 282-0086 - Labour force survey estimates (LFS), supplementary unemployment rates by sex and age group, annual (rate), CANSIM (database).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Unemployment rate, by age, 2012 (percent of labour force)
15-24 years25-54 years55-64 years65+ years
14.36.06.34.6

Lone Parents, Recent Immigrants, Aboriginal People, and People with Disabilities

In 2006, the unemployment rate for Aboriginal people was 14.8%, approximately 8.5 percentage points higher than the national average of 6.3%. People with disabilities (8.6%), lone parents (8.1%), and recent immigrants (12.3%) also experienced higher than average unemployment rates.


This Chart contains data for Unemployment rate, selected groups, 2006. Information is available in table below Aboriginal people = 14.8 Recent immigrants = 12.3 People with disabilities = 8.6 Lone parents = 8.1 Canadian average = 6.3 (percent of labour force) Unemployment rate, selected groups, 2006

Source: Data for lone parents, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people, HRSDC calculations based on Statistics Canada. Census 2006 data (not published); and for people with disabilities, Statistics Canada. Education, Employment and Income of Adults with and Without Disabilities - Tables. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2009 (Cat No. 89-587-XIE).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Unemployment rate, selected groups, 2006 (percent of labour force)
Canadian averageLone parentsPeople with disabilitiesRecent immigrantsAboriginal people
6.38.18.612.314.8

Regions

In 2012, Newfoundland and Labrador had the highest unemployment rate in the country at 12.5%, 5.3 percentage points higher than the national average of 7.2%. The provinces with the next highest unemployment rates were Prince Edward Island at 11.3%, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia at 10.2% and 9.0% respectively. Alberta had the lowest unemployment rate in 2012 at 4.6%, followed closely by Saskatchewan at 4.7%. 


This Chart contains data for Unemployment rate, by region, 2012. Information is available in table below BC = 6.7 AB = 4.6 SK = 4.7 MB = 5.3 ON = 7.8 QC = 7.8 NB = 10.2 NS = 9.0 PE = 11.3 NL = 12.5 CAN = 7.2 (percent of labour force) Unemployment rate, by region, 2012

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 282-0086 - Labour force survey estimates (LFS), supplementary unemployment rates by sex and age group, annual (rate), CANSIM (database).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Unemployment rate, by region, 2012 (percent of labour force)
CANNLPENSNBQCONMBSKABBC
7.212.511.39.010.27.87.85.34.74.66.7

International Picture

At 7.5%, Canada's unemployment rate was lower, in 2011, than the overall OECD average(8.0%). Compared to other G7 countries, Canada had a higher rate than Japan (4.6%) and Germany (6.0) but had a lower rate than the United Kingdom (8.0%) Italy (8.4%), the United States (9.0%) and France (9.6%).


This Chart contains data for Unemployment rate, Canada, OECD and G7 countries, 2011. Information is available in table below France = 9.6 United States = 9.0 Italy = 8.4 OECD = 8.0 United Kingdom = 8.0 Canada = 7.5 Germany = 6.0 Japan = 4.6 (percent of labour force) Unemployment rate, Canada, OECD and G7 countries, 2011

Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Statistics from A to Z. OECD Statistics. Available from: http://www.oecd.org [cited August, 2012].


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Unemployment rate, Canada, OECD and G7 countries, 2011 (percent of labour force)
JapanGermanyCanadaUnited KingdomOECDItalyUnited StatesFrance
4.66.07.58.08.08.49.09.6

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Date Modified:
2014-07-22