The Western Region, which includes Digby, is home to a labour force that is over 26,000 persons strong. As illustrated in the table below, the region’s labour participation rate and employment rate are both lower than the Nova Scotia figures. The unemployment rate is above that of the province.

CharacteristicWestern RegionLabourshed*Nova Scotia
Total population, aged 15 years and older 44,737 69,063 828,846
In the labour force11 26,643 39,809 525,462
Employed 23,430 34,798 477,642
Unemployed 3,212 5,011 47,821
Not in the labour force 18,095 29,254 303,383
Participation rate % 59.6 57.6 63.4
Unemployment rate % 12.1 12.7 9.1
Employment rate % 52.4 50.4 57.6

*Labourshed data consists of the Western Region, as well as neighbouring Annapolis and Shelburne counties. Source: Western REN from Manifold Data Mining Inc. Superdemographics (2016)

Labour force

Refers to the total number of employed and unemployed persons aged 15 and over.


Refers to persons who:

  1. Did any work at all at a job or business, that is, paid work in the context of an employer-employee relationship, or self-employment. It also includes persons who did unpaid family work, which is defined as unpaid work contributing directly to the operation of a farm, business or professional practice owned and operated by a related member of the same household;
  2. Had a job but were not at work due to factors such as their own illness or disability, personal or family responsibilities, vacation or a labour dispute. This category excludes persons not at work because they were on layoff or between casual jobs, and those who did not then have a job (even if they had a job to start at a future date).


Refers to persons who were without paid work or without self-employment work and were available for work and either:

  1. Had actively looked for paid work in the past four weeks;
  2. Were on temporary lay-off and expected to return to their job; or
  3. Had definite arrangements to start a new job in four weeks or less.

Participation rate

The participation rate is the labour force, expressed as a percentage of the total population

Unemployment rate

The unemployment rate is the number of the population of unemployed, expressed as a percentage of the labour force. Employment rate - The employment rate is the number of employed persons aged 15 and over, expressed as a percentage of the total population in that group.

Source: Western REN from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada's Labour Market Information Service (2016)