Wednesday, January 10, 2018

2018: Canadian Job Market Going Strong

Image result for canadian job marketEconomists were left grasping for superlatives to describe the country’s latest jobs report out today. TD called it “unbelievable,” Scotiabank went with “ridiculously strong,” while BMO described it as a “blowout report.” So why are economists so excited? Just about everything is going right. Still, it makes you wonder if the jobs market is hot, where is the wage inflation?

The country added 78,600 jobs in December, according to Statistics Canada, an impressive number given that a whopping 79,500 positions were created in November. In the past year, the Canadian economy created 422,000 jobs, an increase of 2.3 per cent. That’s the strongest percentage gain in 14 years, according to BMO.
Capital Economics notes the details of the report are not quite as impressive as the headline number—54,900 of the positions added in December were part-time, for example—but even the reliably bearish economics shop characterized the latest numbers as positive. What’s more, the job gains were seen across Canada, with Alberta and Quebec showing the strongest growth, and in a wide swath of industries.

The gains were strong enough to send the unemployment rate down to 5.7 per cent, the lowest level since 1974. Unemployment fell even as the participation rate, a measure of the number of Canadians employed or actively looking for work, ticked up slightly to 65.8 per cent.

Not only did the unemployment rate fall, but Canadians are working more hours. Growth in the average number of hours worked dipped earlier in the year, but grew three per cent on a year-over-year basis. Scotiabank notes that’s the fastest pace since September 2003. That’s important, since an uptick in hours worked points to stronger wage growth down the road.

Source: Macleans

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