Employment rose by 93,000 in June, pushing the unemployment rate down 0.2 percentage points to 7.9 per cent, according to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey.
This is the first time the rate has been below the eight per cent mark since January 2009.
Employment has been on an upward trend, increasing by 403,000 since July 2009 and offsetting nearly all the employment losses from the labour market downturn which began in the fall of 2008.
Notable employment increases in June were in service industries including: retail and wholesale trade; business, building and other support services; health care and social assistance.
However, employment in manufacturing dipped by 14,000 in June. While manufacturing employment is little changed since July 2009, it remains 11.9 per cent below October 2008.
Virtually all of June’s employment gains were in Ontario (60,000) and Quebec (30,000). Declines hit Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick while there was little employment change in all other provinces.
There were 22,000 additional workers in retail and wholesale trade in June, bringing total gains to 69,000 since July 2009.
Employment in business, building and other support services increased by 20,000 in June. This industry has shown strength since the start of the year, with gains totaling 86,000 (+14.0 per cent) over the period.
Employment in services such as automotive repair and personal care services increased by 17,000 in June.
The number of private sector employees increased by 52,000 in June. At the same time, there were 26,000 more self-employed workers. Since July 2009, the number of employees in the private sector has risen by 349,000 (+3.3 per cent), with most of the gains in recent months. The number of public sector workers has risen by 2.6 per cent over the same period, while self-employment has declined by 1.3 per cent.