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Canada's year in unemployment, in six charts

December's jobs report completes the picture of what happened in Canada's labour market in 2013.

It shows employment gains last year amounted to 8,500 on average per month, a third of the pace of hiring in 2012. Employment growth of 0.6 per cent over the year was the slowest since the recession in 2009.

The country's jobless rate, at 7.2 per cent in December, is now one notch higher than a year ago while the participation rate ebbed to 66.4 per cent.

Here, based on Statistics Canada's summary, is the year in review – who hired, who fired and where:

(All charts seasonally adjusted.)

Once again, Alberta led. Alberta posted the country's fastest job growth, at 3.3 per cent. Employment also rose in Saskatchewan, by 2.5 per cent and its jobless rate tumbled to 3.9 per cent by year's end, the lowest in the country. Employment in Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland was little changed. Newfoundland's average unemployment rate of 11.4 per cent last year is the province's lowest annual rate since comparable record-keeping began in 1976.

Provincial employment in Canada (Dec. 2012 to Dec. 2013)

SOURCE: Statistics Canada

The only industries last year that tallied job growth were in professional, scientific and technical services and natural resources, Statscan said. Losses occurred in agriculture, educational services, public administration and manufacturing.

Canadian employment by industry (change over the past year)

SOURCE: Statistics Canada

Note: Natural resources is also referred to as forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas.

Part-time positions rose 2.5 per while full-time employment was flat. In the same period, the number of hours worked increased by 0.7 per cent.

Full-time vs. part-time employment growth in Canada (Dec. 2012 vs. Dec. 2013)

SOURCE: Statistics Canada

Older workers are the growing face of the work force. Men and women over the age of 55 were the only demographic group that posted employment growth last year, "mostly the result of population aging," the agency said, adding that participation rates for older workers have been rising since the mid-1990s. Among workers ages 25 to 54, men saw a jobs drop of 41,000 while there was little change for women. For youth, the jobs picture didn't improve much last year compared with 2012.

Change in unemployment in Canada, by age and sex

SOURCE: Statistics Canada

Canadian employment since 2008

SOURCE: Statistics Canada

Canada's unemployment rate since 2008

SOURCE: Statistics Canada

Charts by Claire Neary

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