Nova Scotia ends 2016 with fewer full-time jobs, more part-time work

The national labour market saw big gains in 2016, but unlike recent years the net job growth was propelled by a surge in the less-desirable category of part-time work.

Statistics Canada's year-end employment review shows the country added 153,700 net new part-time jobs last year and just 60,400 full-time positions, a number so low it was statistically insignificant.

The 2016 figure represents a stark shift from year-end results in the past two years, when the agency reported gains of 156,000 full-time jobs in 2014 and 147,000 in 2015.

The final number for 2016 would have shown a loss in full-time work had it not been for a December gain of 81,300 new positions in the category, the biggest one-month increase in full-time jobs in almost five years.

In Nova Scotia, a drop of 5,500 net full-time jobs in December was offset by a gain of 6,000 net part-time positions but the unemployment rate still increased three-tenths to 8.3 percent due to a rise in the labour force.

The trend was represented in the province's overall figures for 2016 as well, with a loss of 13,300 net full-time positions and a gain of 15,900 net part-time positions.

The agency's latest labour force survey says that, overall, Canada beat economists' expectations in December by adding 53,700 net jobs, while the unemployment rate crept up to 6.9 per cent from 6.8 per cent.

(With files from The Canadian Press)