Canada Sheds 129 Thousand Jobs… Unemployment Jumped to 7.2%

February 6, 2009

The 129K loss of jobs in Canada last month is analogous to a drop of 1.021 million jobs in the much larger U.S. labor market.  Manufacturing accounted for 78% of all job losses. Transportation and warehousing jobs contracted by nearly 30K, accounted for the second biggest drop.  Healthcare and social services, in contrast, saw jobs rise by 31K.  Employment was 0.5% less than in January 2008.  The worst hit provinces were Ontario (-71K), British Columbia (-35K) and Quebec (-26K). Only 11.7% of the lost jobs in January were part-time positions.

Canada’s jobless rate increased six-tenths to 7.2% and was a full-percentage point above its October level. From a peak of 11.8% in November 1992 to a trough of 5.8% in February 2008, the unemployment rate was cut in half.  The weaker labor market has not curbed hourly wage costs, which rose 4.8% in the year to January, up from 4.3% in the year to December.  Look for wage inflation to drop sharply in the future, especially since consumer prices increased only 1.2% in the year to December, down from a 12-month advance of 3.5% last August.

Copyright 2009 Larry Greenberg. All rights reserved. No secondary distribution without express permission.



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