Labour Market Briefing – May 2016

London Economic Region

By Emilian Siman, London, Ontario

Friday, June 10, 2016

Positive labour market results unfolded over the London Economic Region in May of 2016. Around 6,800 new jobs were added to the region relative to April 2016 (2.08 %), which resulted from the growth of the full time employment by about 10,100 positions (3.87 %) and the decrease of part-time employment by around 3,300 positions (5.00 %). Accordingly, during May of 2016 the unemployment fell by 1,400 positions (5.76%) relative to the prior month (see Table 1).

Within a year-long time frame comparison (May 2015 - May 2016) the positive improvement of the regional labour market becomes more evident: the employment grew by 13,400 jobs, which resulted from the growth of full-time employment by approximately 20,800 positions and the reduction of part-time employment by  roughly 7,400 positions. Moreover, the unemployment also grew by 3,600 during the same time frame comparison.

An important labour market indicator to watch was the “not in labour force,” which declined by about 12,600 people over a year and by around 5,000 people only between April and May of 2016. The reductions of this indicator suggest that some people decided to re-enter the labour force, contributing to the current improvement of the participation and employment rates across the region.

Table 1. Change of the labour force characteristics in the London Economic Region

Labour force characteristics

May 2015

April 2016

May 2016

Change May 2015-2016

Relative change May 2015-2016 [%]

Change April-May 2016

Relative change April-May 2016

[%]

Employment (x 1,000)

320.2

326.8

333.6

13.4

4.18

6.8

2.08

Full-time employment (x 1,000)

250.1

260.8

270.9

20.8

8.32

10.1

3.87

Part-time employment (x 1,000)

70.1

66

62.7

-7.4

-10.56

-3.3

-5.00

Unemployment (x 1,000)

19.3

24.3

22.9

3.6

18.65

-1.4

-5.76

Not in labour force (x 1,000)

213.1

205.5

200.5

-12.6

-5.91

-5

-2.43

Unemployment rate (percent)

5.7

6.9

6.4

0.7

 

-0.5

 

Participation rate (percent)

61.4

63.1

64

2.6

 

0.9

 

Employment rate (percent)

57.9

58.7

59.9

2

 

1.2

 

Data source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM, Table 285-0122. Note: Statistics Canada rounds the numbers to the nearest hundred.

On the month-to-month comparison (April-May of 2016), the goods producing sector added more jobs than the service producing sector (3,700 vs. 3,200 respectively). In contrast, on the year-long time frame comparison the situation was reversed, the goods producing sector added less positions than the service producing sector (2,100 vs. 11,300 respectively). However, the “Manufacturing” sub-sector seemed to be leading the growth of the labour force in the region during the month of May relative to April of 2016: about 3,400 newly added jobs. The growth of this sub-sector was noticeable also in a year-long time frame comparison: 4,200 jobs added (see Table 2).

Although the economic conditions were still unstable, manufacturers from the region maintained their optimism as the exchange rate of the Canadian Dollar relative to the US Dollar remained low and plans of investment were on the horizon. Just a month prior to May 2016, Hino Motors Canada from Woodstock celebrated 10 years of existence and proudly announced plans of expansion (Stacey, 2016, April 10) while Formet from St. Thomas presented their expansion plans through an investment of $24 million from which $1 million will come from Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (DeBono, 2016, April 7).

“Construction” sub-sector lost about 200 positions in May relative to April of 2016, as well in a year-long comparison around 3,500 jobs. This labour market result presented itself despite the increased number of housing start-ups during January-May of 2016 relative to the same period in 2015 and the City of London’s extensive list of park construction projects for 2016.

The service producing sector in the region shared the same positive spirit while the regional economic conditions showed marginal improvement. On the month-to-month comparison the leading sub-sector within the service producing sector was “health care and social assistance,” which grew in May of 2016 by 2,900 jobs relative to April of 2016. The contribution of this sub-sector is evident even on a year-long time frame comparison; it added about 7,800 jobs.

Accommodation and food services” was also a big winning sub-sector in the region adding approximately 2,200 jobs in May relative to April of 2016, and around 4,700 jobs across a year.

Other sub-sectors of the service producing sector have been making regional headlines too. At the beginning of May 2016, Voices.com from London restated their commitment to the region by revealing their intentions to add another 100 employees in sales, HR and IT by the end of the year (AM980, 2016, May 4).

“Public administration” sub-sector suffered the largest employment contraction between May of 2015 and May of 2016, around 5,500 jobs, from which 400 were lost between April and May of 2016.

Overall, the evolution of the regional labour market during May of 2016 seemed to be in sync with the approach of the sunny and hot weather of the long expected summer. 

Table 2. Change of labour force characteristics by sector (NAICS)

Labour force characteristics

May 2015

April 2016

May 2016

Change May 2015-2016

Relative change May 2015-2016 [%]

Change April-May 2016

Relative change April-May 2016 [%]

Total employed, all industries

320.2

326.8

333.6

13.4

4.18

6.8

2.08

Goods-producing sector

84.8

83.2

86.9

2.1

2.48

3.7

4.45

Agriculture [111-112, 1100,  1151-1152]

11.4

12.8

13.2

1.8

15.79

0.4

3.12

Construction [23]

24.4

21.1

20.9

-3.5

-14.34

-0.2

-0.95

Manufacturing [31-33]

47.4

48.2

51.6

4.2

8.86

3.4

7.05

Services-producing sector

235.4

243.5

246.7

11.3

4.80

3.2

1.31

Wholesale and retail trade [41,  44-45]

48.1

44.4

44

-4.1

-8.52

-0.4

-0.90

Transportation and warehousing [48-49]

15.3

17

16.2

0.9

5.88

-0.8

-4.71

Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing [52-53]

21.8

18.4

18.1

-3.7

-16.97

-0.3

-1.63

Professional, scientific and technical services [54]

16.9

20.7

19.5

2.6

15.38

-1.2

-5.80

Business, building and other support services [55-56]

17.5

17.9

17.6

0.1

0.57

-0.3

-1.68

Educational services [61]

24.2

24.2

25.1

0.9

3.72

0.9

3.72

Health care and social assistance [62]

39.5

44.4

47.3

7.8

19.75

2.9

6.53

Information, culture and recreation [51,  71]

8.7

11.4

11.3

2.6

29.89

-0.1

-0.88

Accommodation and food services [72]

20

22.5

24.7

4.7

23.50

2.2

9.78

Other services (except public administration) [81]

9.8

14.2

14.6

4.8

48.98

0.4

2.82

Public administration [91]

13.5

8.4

8

-5.5

-40.74

-0.4

-4.76

Data source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM, Table 285-0122. Note: Statistics Canada rounds the numbers to the nearest hundred.

 

References

Stacey, M. (2016, April 10). Hino Motors Canada celebrates 10 years in Woodstock with huge expansion on the horizon. Woodstock Sentinel Review. Retrieved from http://www.woodstocksentinelreview.com/2016/04/10/hino‐motors‐canada‐celebrates‐10‐years‐in‐woodstock‐with‐huge‐expansion‐on‐the‐horizon

DeBono, N. (2016, April 7). St. Thomas auto parts maker plans to add 66 more workers for new bumper production. The London Free Press. Retrieved from http://www.lfpress.com/2016/04/07/st‐thomas‐based‐formet‐is‐investing‐23‐of‐its‐own‐money

AM980 (2016, May 4). London’s Voices.com set to hire for another 100 new positions. AM980, News, Talk, Sports. Retrieved from http://www.am980.ca/2016/05/04/89299/