An Unexpected Rise in Canadian Jobs Last Month

September 4, 2009

The surprising 27.1K increase of Canadian employment last month is like a 212K jump in the larger U.S. labor market.  Admittedly, Canada’s job gains were concentrated in part-time workers (up 30.6%), but the result is part of a stabilizing pattern since April.  Jobs fell just 6.2K per month on average over the last five reported months, much less than the 71.4K per month plunge during the previous five months between October 2008 and March 2009.  Service sector jobs, up 33.9K in August, are trending higher, and the trend in construction workers (up 12.1K last month) has stabilized.  Factory jobs, off 17.3% in August and down 11.7% from a year earlier, continue to contract.  As a result of a 49.1K increase of the labor force, the Canadian unemployment rate climbed another tenth to 8.7%.  Such stood at 6.1% a year earlier, just 3/10ths above the cyclical low.  The last cyclical high was 8.0%, and the early-1990s recession was associated with a peak jobless rate of 11.8% in November 1992.  Average hourly wages took a long time to break below 4%, but their on-year increase was 3.3% in August following prints of 3.2% in May and July and 3.4% in June.  Wage growth still exceeds consumer price inflation of -0.9% by a substantial margin.

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



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