Employment in Canada rose by 108,000 (+0.6 per cent) in October, recouping losses observed from May to September while the unemployment rate held steady at 5.2 per cent, according to the Labour Force Survey released Friday by Statistics Canada.
Employment rose in several industries, led by manufacturing, construction, and accommodation and food services. At the same time, it fell in wholesale and retail trade, as well as in natural resources, added the federal agency.
Highlights of the report include:
- The number of private-sector employees rose for the first time since March 2022. Employment was little changed among employees in the public sector and among self-employed workers;
- Employment increased among both men and women in the core working ages of 25 to 54 in October. It was little changed among men and women aged 15 to 24 and those aged 55 and older;
- Employment rose in six provinces, with gains concentrated in Ontario and Quebec;
- Year-over-year growth in the average hourly wages of employees remained above five per cent for a fifth consecutive month in October, rising 5.6 per cent (+$1.68 to $31.94) compared with October 2021 (not seasonally adjusted);
- After declining 0.6 per cent in September, total hours worked increased 0.7 per cent in October. Compared with October 2021, total hours worked were up 2.2 per cent;
- In October, nearly two-thirds (64.3 per cent) of employees with wages above $40 per hour had received a raise in the previous year, compared with half (50.1 per cent) of those with wages of $20 or less per hour (population aged 15 to 69; not seasonally adjusted);
- More than one in three (35.3 per cent) Canadians aged 15 and older lived in households citing difficulty meeting financial needs in October, up from one in five in October 2020 (not seasonally adjusted);
- More than 1.7 million Canadians had hybrid work arrangements in October (population aged 15 to 69; not seasonally adjusted).
“All of the employment gain in October was in full-time work (+119,000; +0.7 per cent), boosting year-over-year gains in full-time employment to 472,000 (+3.0 per cent). There was little change in part-time employment, which held steady for a fifth consecutive month and remained at virtually the same level as it was in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic,” said StatsCan.
“Over the past 12 months, men (+3.9 per cent; +341,000) have seen stronger growth in full-time employment than women (+1.9 per cent; +131,000). In contrast, part-time work has increased for women (+5.7 per cent; +126,000), while falling for men (-6.2 per cent; -84,000). The decrease in part-time work among men is consistent with the tight labour markets observed in 2022, as men are generally less likely to work part-time than women, and more likely to do so only when labour market conditions prevent them from finding full-time work. In October, 15.8 per cent of men working part-time would have preferred a full-time position, the lowest rate of involuntary part-time work among men for the month of October since comparable data became available in 1997 (not seasonally adjusted).”
“Wow. This jobs report checked all the boxes in terms of being a blowout report. Headline job growth surged, and gains were powered by full-time, private sector positions. In addition, hours worked surged, and wage growth accelerated. The unemployment rate was unchanged, but this was due to many more Canadians looking for work – a healthy sign for growth. Notably, bond yields and the dollar are up in the wake of the report,” said Rishi Sondhi, Economist with TD Economics.
“The Canadian labour market clearly still has some steam left to it. And, the gain in hours worked suggests that economic growth got off to a good start to begin the fourth quarter, after decelerating in Q3. This report also justifies the Bank’s stance that more needs to be done on the rates front, and our current forecast anticipates an additional 50 bps of tightening by the end of the year.”
“After summer doldrums, Canadian employment has rebounded with purpose in the Fall, raising some serious doubts over the extent of any economic slowdown, ” said Doug Porter, Chief Economist with BMO Economics. “We had expected GDP growth to basically stall in Q4 after a modest gain of around 1.5 per cent in Q3. Instead, the big bounce in hours worked in October leave them up 1.3 per cent at annual rates versus the Q3 level, consistent with at least moderate GDP growth this quarter. Having said that, we know that Canadian jobs reports are notoriously volatile, and no one will hang their forecasting hat entirely on one LFS result. But, as the opening salvo for Q4, the quarter is off to a strong start. Beyond the sturdy growth implications, the BoC will also cast a wary eye on the renewed upswing in wages.”
(Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran of the media industry for more than 40 years and named in 2021 a Top Ten Business Journalist in the world and only Canadian)
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