Labour growth flat, but job­less rate dips

The Prince George Citizen - - Worklife - Andy BLATCH­FORD

OT­TAWA — Canada’s un­em­ploy­ment rate edged back down to its four-decade low of 5.8 per cent last month as job growth was es­sen­tially flat and fewer peo­ple searched for work, Statis­tics Canada said Fri­day.

The lat­est labour force sur­vey says the coun­try added 11,200 net new jobs in Oc­to­ber – in­clud­ing a gain of 33,900 full­time po­si­tions – but the num­bers were too low for the agency to con­sider them sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant.

A dip in the labour force par­tic­i­pa­tion rate helped nudge the job­less rate down from its 5.9 per cent read­ing in Septem­ber to match the read­ing’s 40-year low for the sev­enth time in last 12 months.

Econ­o­mists had ex­pected an in­crease of 10,000 jobs and an un­em­ploy­ment rate of 5.9 per cent, ac­cord­ing to Thom­son Reuters Eikon.

But even in the strong labour mar­ket,

Un­em­ploy­ment rates, by prov­ince

OT­TAWA — Canada’s na­tional un­em­ploy­ment rate was 5.8 per cent in Oc­to­ber. Here are the job­less rates last month by prov­ince (num­bers from the pre­vi­ous month in brack­ets):

• New­found­land and Labrador 12.7 per cent (13.6)

• Prince Ed­ward Is­land 7.2 (8.7)

• Nova Sco­tia 7.7 (7.8)

• New Brunswick 7.2 (7.9)

• Que­bec 5.2 (5.3)

• On­tario 5.6 (5.9)

• Man­i­toba 6.1 (5.8)

• Saskatchew­an 6.2 (6.4)

• Al­berta 7.3 (7.0)

• Bri­tish Columbia 4.1 (4.2)

— wage growth con­tin­ued along its down­ward tra­jec­tory.

Year-over-year av­er­age hourly wage growth, which is closely watched by the Bank of Canada, con­tin­ued its steady de­cline in Oc­to­ber to 2.19 per cent – its weak­est read­ing since Septem­ber 2017.

Ex­perts have pre­dicted wage growth to rise in the tight­ened labour mar­ket, but it has dropped ev­ery month since May when it was 3.94 per cent.

For em­ployee work, the pri­vate sec­tor added 20,300 po­si­tions last month, while the pub­lic sec­tor lost 30,800 jobs.

Com­pared with 12 months ear­lier, na­tional em­ploy­ment was up 1.1 per cent fol­low­ing the ad­di­tion of 205,900 po­si­tions, in­clud­ing 173,000 full-time jobs.

Saskatchew­an added 2,500 jobs in Oc­to­ber, but em­ploy­ment lev­els were largely un­changed in the other prov­inces.

By in­dus­try, the goods-pro­duc­ing sec­tor lost 12,000 jobs last month in a de­cline led by a no­table loss of 7,100 po­si­tions in nat­u­ral re­sources work.

The ser­vices sec­tor added 23,200 jobs in Oc­to­ber fol­low­ing a gain of 22,000 po­si­tions in busi­ness, build­ing and other sup­port ser­vices.

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