4 things students need to know about employment right now

See what sectors and regions have jobs

Statistics Canada’s monthly Labour Force Survey for June is now out and it reveals some interesting trends that students and new graduates need to know about. Here are four things that stand out.

1. The student summer job situation is improving after a few bad post-recession years. Data from May and June show that the unemployment rate for students aged 20 to 24 was 11.4 per cent this June, down from 13 per cent a year earlier. The unemployment rate for 17- to 19-year-old students also fell, from 17.3 per cent to 15.7 per cent.

2. The survey shows there are more jobs in “professional, scientific and technical services,” up 27,000 in June and 63,000 year-over-year. Meanwhile, the accommodation and food services sector is down the most, dropping 20,000 in June. It seems likely that more post-secondary graduates would rather work in the former sector than the latter, so that’s good news for them.

3. Resource-rich Saskatchewan continues to have the most growth with 4,300 jobs created in June, which helped their employment rate drop to just 3.7 per cent, the lowest of all provinces. Meanwhile, 5,200 jobs were lost in New Brunswick, pushing their unemployment rate up to 11.2 per cent. Middling Ontario (7.5 per cent) and Quebec (7.9 per cent) showed little change in June.

4. The better jobs situation in Saskatchewan is part of a long term trend. A new Statistics Canada report shows that men in oil-producing provinces (Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland) fared much better than those living elsewhere in recent decades. Between 1981 and 2012, men aged 25 to 34 in oil-producing provinces saw their unemployment rate stay relatively low, inching up from 4.2 per cent to 4.4 per cent, while wages climbed six per cent. In the non-oil-producing provinces, men’s unemployment rate rose from 6.7 per cent to 8.1 per cent and wages fell six per cent. Women did better, with lower unemployment and higher wages in 2012 than 1981 in both types of provinces.