Canadian job gains beat expectations in August

Dianna Christensen
September 10, 2017

The Canadian economy added more jobs than expected in August, sending the unemployment rate to its lowest since the financial crisis, but part-time hiring accounted for all of the gains.

Total employment in Canada was more than 18.4 million in August.

The agency says most of the decline in full-time work was concentrated among young Canadians aged 15 to 24 years old, who also showed a notable decrease last month in labour force participation. Since August of a year ago, the number of Canadians aged 55 and over who work part-time has increased 8 per cent. Since then, 1,000 jobs related to the natural resource sector - including forestry, mining, and oil and gas work - have been lost in the region. The full-time job losses were so large they erased three straight months of gains in that category that looked to be turning the province's economy around. The headline job numbers were little changed in the other provinces, Statistics Canada said.

"Given the super strong economic growth, I suspect workers seem secure enough to go into business for themselves", wrote Arlene Kish, director and economist with IHS Markit Economics, in an e-mail to The Globe, calling it a "great development". While Newfoundland and Labrador had the highest at 14.7 per cent. But again, it's just one month and it's coming off eleven previous months of exceptional strength in the jobs market.

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Compared to a year earlier, average hourly wages expanded at a faster rate than inflation to reach 1.8 per cent.

Manitoba has the best rate in the country, at 4.9 percent, down a tenth of a point from last month.

The Bank of Canada noted earlier in the week that wage growth had been "more subdued" than historical trends have shown.

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