Wednesday, 20 November, 2019

Economy sheds 1,800 jobs in October, unemployment rate stays steady

Canada’s economy lost 1,800 jobs in October widely missing economists’ expectations of a 15,000 Canada’s economy lost 1,800 jobs in October widely missing economists’ expectations of a 15,000
Russell Knight | 10 November, 2019, 22:41

The Canadian job market stagnated unexpectedly in October, losing 1,800 net positions, while the unemployment rate remained at 5.5 per cent, Statistics Canada said on Friday, as employment declined in the manufacturing and construction sectors.

The unemployment rate increased to 6.7 per cent in October, compared to 6.2 per cent in September.

The number of full-time jobs fell by 16,100, offset in part by a gain of 14,300 part-time jobs, while the unemployment rate held steady at 5.5%.

At the provincial level, British Columbia was a standout region with more than 15,000 positions created in October.

On a year-over-year basis, employment has still grown by 443,000 or 2.4 percent, said Statistics Canada.

While the jobless rate has finally dipped below where it was just before the 2008-09 economic recession hit, other measures indicate the economy still hasn't quite fully recovered.

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"After a couple of months of outsized gains, Canada's labour market didn't get the job done in October", he said, predicting a further slowdown in employment growth ahead.

"Strip out all of the public administration component and underlying job growth ... was down as much as 22,000 [positions]", Derek Holt, head of capital markets economics at the Bank of Nova Scotia, said in a client note.

Almost 90 per cent of last month's job surge took place on the Ottawa side of the river, where 8,500 jobs were created, compared to 1,200 in Gatineau.

The bright spot in the data is that average hourly wages rose 4.4 per cent, but CIBC economist Royce Mendes has reservations.

Statistics Canada says Edmonton only gained about 300 jobs in the month of October while Calgary lost 2,400 positions.

The province saw notable losses in health care and social assistance (-15,200 jobs), manufacturing (-8,300 jobs), natural resources (-9,800 jobs) and construction (-4,400 jobs).

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