Jobs added for eighth month in a row

Un­em­ploy­ment rate drops to low­est point since fi­nan­cial cri­sis

Cape Breton Post - - Canada - BY CRAIG WONG

The econ­omy ex­tended its win­ning streak in July, post­ing its eighth con­sec­u­tive month of job growth while the un­em­ploy­ment rate dropped to its low­est point since the start of the fi­nan­cial cri­sis nearly nine years ago.

The un­em­ploy­ment rate fell 0.2 per­cent­age points to 6.3 per cent, a level not seen since Oc­to­ber 2008, as the num­ber of people look­ing for work de­clined, Statis­tics Canada re­ported Fri­day.

The de­crease came as the econ­omy pumped out 10,900 net new jobs for the month. That fol­lowed stag­ger­ing em­ploy­ment growth of 45,300 in June and 54,500 in May.

“We can for­give the econ­omy for tak­ing a bit of a breather on job gains in July, given how tor­rid the pace has been in the prior two months,” Avery Shen­feld, chief econ­o­mist of CIBC Cap­i­tal Mar­kets, said in a note to clients.

The July data was fu­elled by the ad­di­tion of 35,100 full-time jobs, off­set by the loss of 24,300 part-time po­si­tions.

Com­pared with a year ago, the num­ber of jobs has in­creased by 388,0000, driven by a surge in 354,000 full-time po­si­tions.

How­ever, the pos­i­tive job fig­ures were damp­ened by the lat­est num­bers on Canada’s trade deficit, which bal­looned to $3.6 bil­lion in June from a short­fall of $1.4 bil­lion the pre­vi­ous month.

Ben­jamin Reitzes, Cana­dian rates and macro strate­gist at BMO Cap­i­tal Mar­kets, said there were some one-time fac­tors af­fect­ing the trade num­bers.

“You had some very large de­clines in ex­ports of met­als, gold

in par­tic­u­lar,” he said, not­ing that oil prices have also fallen. “That weighed very heav­ily on the num­ber.”

Statis­tics Canada said ex­ports fell 4.3 per cent to $46.5 bil­lion. Ship­ments of metal and non­metal­lic min­eral prod­ucts plum­meted by 14.9 per cent to $5.3 bil­lion in June after a 12.4 per cent in­crease in May. Ex­ports of en­ergy prod­ucts were down 9.2 per cent to $7.3 bil­lion.

On the other side of the ledger, im­ports gained 0.3 per cent to $50.1 bil­lion. Trade in metal ores, non-me­tal­lic min­er­als, air­craft and other trans­porta­tion and parts hit record

highs.

The lat­est eco­nomic data fol­lows a de­ci­sion by the Bank of Canada last month to raise its key in­ter­est rate tar­get to 0.75 per cent, its first in­crease in al­most seven years.

Reitzes said BMO con­tin­ues to ex­pect the cen­tral bank to wait un­til Oc­to­ber be­fore it raises the rate again, not­ing that there is still plenty of eco­nomic fig­ures to come be­fore the de­ci­sion.

“It’s tough to see any­thing re­ally de­rail­ing them out­side of broadly weaker num­bers for Oc­to­ber,” he said. “They’ve been clear they want to take back the

50 ba­sis points of eas­ing they put in in 2015, so a hike in Oc­to­ber would do that.”

Break­ing down the jobs re­port, the whole­sale and re­tail trade sec­tor gained 22,000 jobs, in­for­ma­tion, cul­ture and recre­ation added 18,000 and man­u­fac­tur­ing saw an in­crease of 14,000. About 32,000 jobs in ed­u­ca­tional ser­vices were lost, mainly in On­tario and Al­berta.

Re­gion­ally, em­ploy­ment in On­tario and Man­i­toba rose by 26,000 and 4,800, re­spec­tively. Al­berta lost 14,000 jobs, New­found­land and Labrador shed 5,300 po­si­tions and Prince Ed­ward Is­land dropped by 1,000.

CP PHOTO

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau speaks to re­porters at the Na­tional Gover­nor’s As­so­ci­a­tion Spe­cial Ses­sion – Col­lab­o­rat­ing to Cre­ate To­mor­row’s Global Econ­omy in Prov­i­dence, R.I.

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