Canada’s Jobs Market Pauses After Monster First Half of Year
'Canada’s booming labor market geared down in June, with employment little changed and a slight uptick in the jobless rate from historical lows.
- Economy sheds 2,200 jobs, unemployment rate ticks up to 5.5%
- Despite pause, employment sees strongest first half since 2002
The economy shed 2,200 jobs on the month, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa, versus economist expectations for a gain of about 10,000. The unemployment rate rose to 5.5%, after reaching a four-decade low of 5.4% in May.
The flat reading for employment in June doesn’t alter the picture of a hot labor market powering Canada’s expansion, with most economists widely expecting a slowdown from the economy’s recent unsustainable pace of hiring. That leaves the Bank of Canada plenty of ammunition to resist any pressure to cut interest rates, even if the U.S. Federal Reserve decides to ease policy.
“Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect to today’s report was the massive rise in wages,” Doug Porter, chief economist at Bank of Montreal, said in a note to investors. “For the Bank of Canada, the strength in wages and hours, and a still-low jobless rate will give them no reason to seriously consider matching Fed rate cuts anytime soon.”
The one area of weakness seems to be the goods sector, which saw employment contract 32,800 in June. Half of that came from manufacturers. Employment in goods-producing industries is down by 9,400 in the first six months of 2019.'