Canada’s Labour Market Decelerates in October as Gains Normalize

Canada’s economy continued to add more jobs in the last month, as the easing of pandemic restrictions and tightening vaccine mandates prompted businesses to maintain their hiring sprees. However, the gains modestly fell short of expectations, suggesting that the labour market is on a path to pre-pandemic normalization.

On Friday, Statistics Canada reported that there were a total of 31,200 jobs added to the economy in October, causing the unemployment rate to fall from 6.9% to 6.7%. However, the gains missed expectations from economists polled by Bloomberg that called for an increase of 41,600 positions last month.

Although the latest jobs report failed to reach consensus estimates, it does suggest that the country’s labour market is on a path to recovery, as businesses continue to fill positions that were previously vacated due to Covid-19 lockdowns. The data also shows that the monthly job gains are maintaining a steady pace and are on track to reach normal levels, which stood at an average gain of 23,000 per month prior to the pandemic.

Looking at the data, employment gains were noted across a number of industries— particularly the retail trade sector, which added 72,000 more jobs in October. However, the notable gains were also offset by declines elsewhere, including goods producing industries, which slumped by 6,200 positions. The majority of last month’s payroll increases were concentrated across full-time employment, with average hourly wages for those with permanent jobs increasing 2.1% from October 2020.

Since the beginning of the third Covid-19 wave in May, the economy has added more than 600,000 new jobs, bringing employment above pre-pandemic levels of February 2020. The ongoing gains prompted the Bank of Canada to reduce its quantitative easing policies last week, and even update the forecasts for an interest rate hike from 2023 to 2022.

Information for this briefing was found via Statistics Canada. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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