Labour Market Bulletin - Prince Edward Island: June 2022

This Labour Market Bulletin provides an analysis of Labour Force Survey results for the province of Prince Edward Island.

Overview

The Prince Edward Island labour market has shown considerable resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In the most recent quarter, the level of Island employment reached an all-time high and unemployment in the province fell to the lowest quarterly level not seen since the mid 1970’s. The unemployment rate in P.E.I. in Q2 2022 was down by 2 percentage points from the previous quarter, and nearly 3 percentage points lower compared to the same quarter a year ago. There was no change in the Island’s participation rate in Q2 as both the labour force and working-age population expanded at the same pace.

Prince Edward Island quarterly labour force statistics
Seasonally adjusted quarterly data 2nd quarter
2022
1st quarter
2022
2nd quarter
2021
Quarterly variation Yearly variation
Number % Number %
Population 15 + ('000) 138.7 137.2 133.6 1.5 1.1 5.1 3.8
Labour force ('000) 92.2 91.2 87.1 1.0 1.1 5.1 5.9
Employment ('000) 85.8 83.1 78.5 2.7 3.2 7.3 9.3
Full-time ('000) 71.5 69.8 65.4 1.7 2.4 6.1 9.3
Part-time ('000) 14.2 13.2 13.2 1.0 7.6 1.0 7.6
Unemployment ('000) 6.4 8.1 8.6 -1.7 -21.0 -2.2 -25.6
Unemployment rate (%) 6.9 8.9 9.8 -2.0 - -2.9 -
Participation rate (%) 66.5 66.5 65.2 0.0 - 1.3 -
Employment rate (%) 61.8 60.6 58.8 1.2 - 3.0 -

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey - Table 14-10-0287

The labour force in Q2 totalled 92,200 which was 1.1% higher compared to Q1 (and 5.9% higher on a year-over-year basis). Growth was largely concentrated in the core-aged group (25-54 years) – the majority of which attributed to females.

The number of people not participating in the labour force in Q2 2022 increased slightly from the previous month. A total of 46,500 persons were not in the Island’s labour force in the most recent quarter which is about 6% higher than what it was in Q1 2020, just before the pandemic hit. With the recent exodus of 500 people from the labour force in Q2, this means that there is a total of 2,600 persons who had some form of labour market attachment prior to the pandemic, but were no longer attached in the most recent quarter.

Prince Edward Island quarterly employment and unemployment rate
Prince Edward Island quarterly employment and unemployment rate
Show data table: Prince Edward Island quarterly employment and unemployment rate
Prince Edward Island quarterly employment and unemployment rate
Unemployment rate (%) Employment ('000)
2Q2016 11.2 70.3
3Q2016 11.1 71.1
4Q2016 11.1 71.8
1Q2017 9.8 72.8
2Q2017 10.0 74.1
3Q2017 10.2 73.4
4Q2017 10.2 74.0
1Q2018 10.1 75.7
2Q2018 9.8 76.3
3Q2018 9.1 77.1
4Q2018 8.7 77.4
1Q2019 9.6 77.2
2Q2019 8.6 79.0
3Q2019 8.2 80.1
4Q2019 8.1 80.5
1Q2020 8.3 80.5
2Q2020 12.9 72.3
3Q2020 10.7 76.4
4Q2020 10.4 77.5
1Q2021 8.6 78.4
2Q2021 9.8 78.5
3Q2021 10.4 79.2
4Q2021 8.5 82.0
1Q2022 8.9 83.1
2Q2022 6.9 85.8

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey

The Island’s employment base, at 85,800 in Q2 2022, increased by 3.3% over the previous quarter - an all-time quarterly high for the province. Nearly 7 in 10 of the additional jobs in Q2 were attributed to those in the core-aged group, followed to a lessor extent by older workers (55 + years).

Prince Edward Island quarterly employment growth
Prince Edward Island quarterly employment growth
Show data table: Prince Edward Island quarterly employment growth
Prince Edward Island quarterly employment growth
Prince Edward Island Canada
2Q2016 -1.2% 0.2%
3Q2016 1.1% 0.2%
4Q2016 0.9% 0.6%
1Q2017 1.4% 0.7%
2Q2017 1.8% 0.4%
3Q2017 -0.9% 0.5%
4Q2017 0.9% 0.7%
1Q2018 2.3% 0.2%
2Q2018 0.8% 0.2%
3Q2018 1.0% 0.4%
4Q2018 0.4% 0.6%
1Q2019 -0.3% 0.8%
2Q2019 2.4% 0.7%
3Q2019 1.3% 0.2%
4Q2019 0.5% 0.1%
1Q2020 0.0% -1.3%
2Q2020 -10.3% -11.3%
3Q2020 5.7% 8.3%
4Q2020 1.4% 2.4%
1Q2021 1.2% 0.4%
2Q2021 0.2% 0.6%
3Q2021 0.8% 1.7%
4Q2021 3.6% 1.5%
1Q2022 1.3% 0.8%
2Q2022 3.3% 1.0%

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey

The majority of employment gains were full-time - attributed entirely to workers over the age of 25 years as about 1,500 youths (15-24 years) transitioned from full-time to part-time work. Due to employment growth having outpaced labour force growth, the number of people unemployed in Q2 declined to 6,400 people which is well below its Q1 2020 pre-pandemic level (7,300). This caused the Island’s unemployment rate to contract to its lowest quarterly rate on record (6.9%).  

Prince Edward Island quarterly unemployment rates, by gender and age
Seasonally adjusted data 2nd quarter
2022 (%)
1st quarter
2022 (%)
2nd quarter
2021 (%)
Quarterly variation
(% points)
Yearly variation
(% points)
Total 6.9 8.9 9.8 -2.0 -2.9
25 years and over 6.0 8.3 9.0 -2.3 -3.0
Men - 25 years and over 6.6 9.0 9.8 -2.4 -3.2
Women - 25 years and over 5.3 7.5 8.4 -2.2 -3.1
15 to 24 years 11.6 11.8 13.9 -0.2 -2.3
Men - 15 to 24 years 12.9 14.0 13.8 -1.1 -0.9
Women - 15 to 24 years 10.2 8.8 13.5 1.4 -3.3

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey - Table 14-10-0287

The Island’s participation rate was unchanged in Q2 2022 but is up by 1.3 percentage points compared to the same quarter a year ago. At 66.5% in the most recent quarter, it remains on par with its Q1 2020 pre-pandemic rate. P.E.I.’s participation rate in June 2022 exceeded the national average (64.9%) and furthermore, ranked third highest in the country (behind Alberta and Saskatchewan). The Island’s participation rate for female youths, at 73.1%, was the highest in the country in June 2022.  

Employment by industry

The gain in employment in Q2 2022 was distributed evenly across both the goods and services-producing sectors. Most notable in the goods-sector were construction and manufacturing; and for the services-producing sector, Business, building and other support services; Information, culture and recreation; and public administration.

The construction industry has faired relatively well throughout the pandemic and employment in the most recent quarter continues to be supported by strong residential and non-residential construction activity. Indeed, the level of employment in Q2 2022, which averaged 7,900 persons, was a record high for the industry. All indications point toward robust construction activity in the current period, which is expected to continue over the next couple of years. This is driven by major construction projects associated with the Building Canada Fund; provincial capital investment; ongoing residential construction and development; and infrastructure upgrades in preparation for the Canada Winter Games in 2023; as well as other major projects that have been approved or are currently underway.

The quarterly employment gain in P.E.I.’s manufacturing industry is supported by a strong start to 2022 with respect to shipments of both durable and non-durable products – which for the first four months of 2022, are up on a year-to-date basis by over 42% and 14%, respectfully. Furthermore, this builds on record-level shipments experienced in 2021, which totaled nearly $2.6B in sales for the year. Export values of manufactured goods are up by 24% over the January to May 2022 period, relative to the same period a year ago. International demand for Island-based products so far in 2022 was strongest for frozen food and fresh/processed seafood, and fresh oysters; followed by durable goods products associated with aerospace-related manufacturing.

The information, culture and recreation industry will continue to benefit from the significant easing of health restrictions which will bode well for performing arts, spectator sports and related activity. Furthermore, the industry should benefit from economic activity from a robust tourist season this year - with the traditional shoulder season having begun in Q2 of this year.

Prince Edward Island quarterly labour force statistics, by industry
Seasonally adjusted data ('000) 2nd quarter
2022
1st quarter
2022
2nd quarter
2021
Quarterly variation Yearly variation
Number % Number %
Total employed, all industries 85.8 83.1 78.5 2.7 3.3 7.2 9.2
Goods-producing sector 22.1 20.7 18.5 1.4 6.8 3.6 19.5
Agriculture 3.4 3.6 3.5 -0.2 -4.6 -0.1 -2.8
Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas 2.4 2.0 2.4 0.5 23.7 0.0 1.4
Utilities 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 12.5
Construction 7.9 7.3 5.9 0.7 9.2 2.0 34.5
Manufacturing 8.1 7.5 6.4 0.6 8.5 1.7 26.6
Services-producing sector 63.7 62.4 60.1 1.3 2.1 3.7 6.1
Trade 11.3 11.4 11.6 -0.1 -0.9 -0.3 -2.6
Transportation and warehousing 1.5 2.1 2.4 -0.6 -27.0 -0.9 -37.0
Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing 2.8 2.5 2.8 0.3 12.2 -0.1 -2.4
Professional, scientific and technical services 5.0 5.0 4.5 0.0 -0.7 0.5 11.1
Business, building and other support services 2.6 1.9 2.0 0.7 37.5 0.6 28.3
Educational services 6.2 6.0 6.5 0.1 2.2 -0.3 -4.6
Health care and social assistance 12.4 12.3 11.6 0.1 0.5 0.8 6.6
Information, culture and recreation 3.3 2.6 2.7 0.7 25.3 0.6 23.7
Accommodation and food services 5.1 5.2 4.2 -0.2 -3.2 0.9 20.6
Other services 3.3 3.5 3.1 -0.2 -6.7 0.1 4.3
Public administration 10.3 9.8 8.6 0.5 5.1 1.7 20.2

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey - Table 14-10-0355

Note

In preparing this document, the authors have taken care to provide clients with labour market information that is timely and accurate at the time of publication. Since labour market conditions are dynamic, some of the information presented here may have changed since this document was published. Users are encouraged to also refer to other sources for additional information on the local economy and labour market. Information contained in this document does not necessarily reflect official policies of Employment and Social Development Canada.

Prepared by: Labour Market Analysis Directorate, Service Canada, Atlantic Region
For further information, please contact the LMI team.
For information on the Labour Force Survey, please visit the Statistics Canada website.

Date modified: