Labour Market Outlook

Short-term and long-term labour market outlook.

2021 Labour Market Forecast

Table. Titled “Labour Market Outlook, 2021 to 2022, Nova Scotia”. Columns are “labour market characteristics”, “2021 (actual)”, “2022 (forecast)”, and “Change (2021-2022)”. Rows are “Population, age 15+”, Labour force, Employment, Unemployment Rate, and Participation Rate.

Growth in the working-age population (15 years and over) is forecasted to be 1.5% in 2022, which would be the highest percentage increase in Nova Scotia since 1984. The labour force is forecasted to increase by 4,400 (+0.9%), and employment is forecasted to grow by 8,800 jobs (+1.9%). The unemployment rate is forecasted to drop by 0.9 percentage points to 7.5%. The participation rate is forecasted to slip slightly in 2021, down 0.4 percentage points from the 2020 level to 61.2%.

Long-Term Labour Market Forecast

employment outlook 2017 to 2022

Nova Scotia’s total population grew by over 49,000 since 2016, reaching an estimated all-time high of 992,055 on July 1st of 2021.

  • Rising international and interprovincial migration has increased the population offsetting natural population change.
  • Nova Scotia’s labour force and employment are expected to continue to grow.
  • Employment growth, notably in full-time jobs, had been growing since 2016 until interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The overall level of employment has rebounded and has been above pre-pandemic levels since November of 2021.  
  • The unemployment rate touched record lows in Nova Scotia in 2019 and fell below 7.5%.
  • Unemployment rose to nearly ten percent in 2020, before falling to 8.4% in 2021 as employment recovered.

Titled “Unemployment Rates, Nova Scotia, September 2011 to 2021”. A line trend chart. Vertical axis shows unemployment rate in half percentages from 4.5% to 10.5%. Horizontal axis shows each year from 2011 to 2021. A blue line shows unemployment rate for each year.

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