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NWT employment rate rose in October while unemployment rate fell: report

Northland Utilities crews work to replace streetlights along a median on Franklin Avenue. Re-lighting the street is one of the final steps of a two year construction project. James O'Connor/NNSL photo

The employment rate in the NWT rose slightly in October compared to September, with the number of employed people increasing by 100 to 20,700, according to the Labour Force Activity Report released by the NWT Bureau of Statistics on Friday.

The rise represents an employment rate of 63.5 per cent for October and a 0.3 percentage point increase from September, while the number of unemployed people fell by 300 to 1,800, marking a decline in the unemployment rate of 1.3 percentage points to eight per cent.

The labour market changes reflect increases in economic activity following the relaxation of measures to contain the Covid pandemic, the report said.

One hundred more people were employed in the NWT in October compared to September, according to the latest Labour Force Activity Report from the NWT Bureau of Statistics.
Wikimedia photo

The employment rate fell among people aged 25 and older, males, non-Indigenous people and those living in Yellowknife.

Increases in the employment rate for youth aged 15 to 24 years, females and Indigenous people came a result of people leaving the labour force rather than increases in employment.

October's employment rate is the highest since April, when Covid restrictions were at their height, and also the highest since the low point of June when the rate was at 60.6 per cent.

The unemployment rate is also at its lowest since November 2019.

However, despite the gains last month, the employment rate in October 2019 was 2.4 per cent higher; and last month's employment rate was the lowest for October in the last 10 years. The peak rate in that period was 72.6 per cent in 2012.

Comparing October 2019 to October 2020, most of the employment losses (900) were in full-time employment while part-time employment rose by 200. Self-employment rose over the same period by 800 people, while public and private sector employment declined by 3.1 per cent and 9.6 per cent, respectively.

Across Canada, the employment rate was 62.5 per cent after a 3.8 percentage point increase from September 2020, with all provinces and territories recording increases in employment rates.

Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario experienced the highest increases, while the three territories had the lowest increases in employment rates.