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Canada: Unemployment rate slips to 6.4 percent despite loss of full-time jobs

Canada: Unemployment rate slips to 6.4 percent despite loss of full-time jobs

The national jobless rate slipped to 6.4 percent in September from 6.5 percent in August as 31,000 new part-time jobs offset the loss of 15,000 full-time positions.
Statistics Canada reported Friday that the portion of the population that is employed remained near record levels in an economy still expanding in the resource-rich West but slowing moderately in other parts of the country.
The small gain in employment, following three months of little change, was slightly below financial-market expectations.
"Although the headline looks nice _ a little lower unemployment rate _ I think that the devil's in the details," said Andrew Gretzinger, senior economic analyst at MFC Global Investment Management in Toronto.
Andrew Pyle, financial markets analyst for Scotiabank, observed that the slippage in full-time jobs is "probably not great news for the economy overall."
The unemployment rate for adult women was down to 5 percent, the lowest level in 30 years. More adult men were looking for work, which pushed their jobless rate up slightly to 5.5 percent.
The agency said the number of full-time jobs is up 1.4 percent so far this year, with most of the gains in the private sector.
There were small increases in factory jobs in September, although this 19,000 gain was not enough to offset the 67,000 manufacturing jobs lost so far this year.
The manufacturing sector in Ontario and Quebec has been hard hit by the rising Canadian dollar, which has made exports more expensive in the key U.S. market. As well, restructuring by the Big Three North American automakers has affected assembly and parts industries centered in southern Ontario.
"Beneath the surface you still have continued weakness in Ontario," said Pyle. "We've lost jobs in that province three months in a row."
But manufacturing seems to be holding on, he added.
"Firms seem to be responding favorably to, perhaps, weaker energy prices which helps their costs out a bit; maybe some stabilization in the Canadian dollar has helped manufacturers out as well."
This was the last employment report before the Bank of Canada's next rate-setting date of Oct. 17. Analysts said there is little to suggest the bank will do anything but stand pat at least until the new year.
David Tulk of TD Bank said recent data suggest an easing of wage pressures.
"With the threat of higher wages seeping into broader inflation subsiding, the bank is now free to focus on the downside risk to economic growth posed by a slowing U.S. economy," he said.
"It is clear that this will be the dominant theme for Canada's economic outlook over the next six to nine months." Tulk expects the central bank to cut interest rates by half a percentage point in the first half of next year.


Updated : 2021-04-17 08:15 GMT+08:00