Statistics Canada just released the August 2019 Labour Force Survey, reporting an increase in employment of 81,000 in the month; however, with more people participating in the labour market, the unemployment rate remained unchanged from July, holding at 5.7 per cent.
Highlights in August
- Following three consecutive months of little change, employment increased by 81,000 in August, largely in part-time work.
- Compared with August 2018, employment increased by 471,000 (+2.5 per cent), the result of gains in both full- (+306,000 or +2.0 per cent) and part-time work (+165,000 or +4.8 per cent).
- Over the same period, hours worked were up 1.2 per cent.
- In Manitoba, the number of people employed rose by 5,200, the first notable increase since the start of 2019. The unemployment rate was little changed at 5.6 per cent as more Manitobans participated in the labour market. The employment increase in August brought year-over-year gains to 5,600 (+0.9 per cent).
- Employment in Quebec rose for the second consecutive month, up 20,000 in August. There were gains in several industries, led by finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing. The unemployment rate was little changed at 4.7 per cent, the lowest rate in the province since comparable data became available in 1976, and the lowest among all provinces in August. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in Quebec increased by 112,000 (+2.6 per cent).
- While employment was little changed in all other provinces in August, the unemployment rate rose 0.6 percentage points to 5.0 per cent in British Columbia as more people searched for work.
- The unemployment rate in Ontario was little changed at 5.6 per cent. Compared with August 2018, employment in Ontario grew by 250,000 (+3.5 per cent), partly due to employment being at a relatively low point in August 2018. The year-over-year employment gains were in both full- and part-time work.
What employers need to know
If your employees don’t seem engaged at work lately, don’t assume they’re suffering from a case of the end-of-summer blues. It might be something far worse: warning signs of burnout. A study by our company found that 96 per cent of senior managers in Canada believe their team members are experiencing some degree of burnout. Most senior managers believe the top factor for this condition is an unmanageable workload.
In a labour market with low unemployment and persistent demand for skilled talent, valued employees who feel overworked are likely already on the hunt for a new job. But their departure is not inevitable. There are several things you can do to bring workloads back to a more manageable state swiftly and help reduce your employees’ stress and exasperation.
One way to provide quick relief is to bring in temporary workers, who can support day-to-day needs and assist with projects requiring specialized skills. Then, with these reinforcements in place, you can reassess your employees’ roles to make sure they are working in positions that are well-aligned to their strengths and interests. Also, you can confirm that you are setting realistic expectations for performance — and giving your staff the recognition, and compensation, they deserve for working as hard as they do.
What job seekers need to know
Feeling overworked? You’re far from alone. In a recent Robert Half survey, 95 per cent of professionals in Canada said they are at least somewhat burned out. If stress levels have prompted you to look for a new job, what can you do to ensure you don’t end up in the same situation elsewhere?
Researching the organizational cultures of the employers you’re targeting is key. You’ll find many leading companies use their website, social media and other outlets to highlight why their business is a great place to work.
Try to dig a bit deeper, though, whether it’s online or through contacts in your professional network, to develop a complete picture of the work environment. And during the interview process, be sure to ask hiring managers questions such as, “What do you like about working here?”
Workers interviewed for the Robert Half survey cited career stagnation among the top three reasons for feeling burnout on the job. So, if career advancement and professional development are vital to keeping you engaged at work and motivated to excel, list them among your must-haves when weighing new opportunities. Knowing that you work for an employer that wants to help you grow and succeed can help you stay focused and positive during times when workloads and stress intensify.
Check out tips for dealing with the struggle of work burnout.