The number of employees receiving pay and benefits from their employer—measured as “payroll employment” in the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours—was little changed (+4,900) in July, following an increase of 65,900 (+0.4%) in June. Meanwhile, job vacancies declined by 43,100 (-5.8%) to 701,300 in July, continuing a steady downward trend since June 2022, reported Statistics Canada on Thursday.
“Payroll employment changes were modest in all sectors in July 2023. Public administration (+6,000; +0.5%) and health care and social assistance (+4,500; +0.2%) recorded the largest increases, followed by finance and insurance (+3,400; +0.4%) and arts, entertainment and recreation (+3,000; +1.0%),” said the federal agency.
“These gains were offset by monthly declines in manufacturing (-7,600; -0.5%), information and cultural industries (-3,800; -1.0%), retail trade (-2,300; -0.1%), professional, scientific and technical services (-2,200; -0.2%), wholesale trade (-2,100; -0.3%), accommodation and food services (-1,800; -0.1%), and management of companies and enterprises (-1,000; -0.8%). The remaining nine sectors recorded little change.”
StatsCan said payroll employment in manufacturing dropped in July 2023 (-7,600; -0.5%), marking the first decline since March and dampening the cumulative increase recorded since January 2023 (+3,300; +0.2%). Of the 21 subsectors in manufacturing, 11 recorded declines in July, led by chemical manufacturing (-1,400; -1.5%), machinery manufacturing (-900; -0.6%) and wood product manufacturing (-800; -0.8%). Beverage and tobacco product manufacturing was the sole subsector to record an increase (+700; +1.2%), while all other remaining subsectors were little changed.
“On a month-over-month basis, average weekly earnings were up 0.8% (to $1,215) in July, following monthly growth of 0.4% in both May and June. The largest gains in July were recorded in public administration (+1.9% to $1,553) and construction (+1.6% to $1,509),” said the report.
“Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings was 4.3% in July, following an increase of 3.7% in June. In general, growth in average weekly earnings can reflect a range of factors, including changes in wages, composition of employment and hours worked.
“In July, average weekly hours were down 0.3% (to 33.3 hours) year over year and were unchanged compared with the previous month.”
The report said job vacancies declined by 43,100 (-5.8%) to 701,300 in July, continuing a steady downward trend since June 2022. In July 2023, job vacancies were down by 273,700 (-28.1%) on a year-over-year basis. Job vacancies in the month were at their lowest level since May 2021 (673,400).
“The number of unfilled positions decreased in five sectors in July: retail trade (-10,800; -12.8%), accommodation and food services (-10,400; -11.6%), educational services (-4,500; -18.6%), management of companies and enterprises (-1,600; -42.3%), and in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (-1,600; -16.9%). The number of vacant positions was little changed in the remaining 15 sectors.,” it said.
“The job vacancy rate—which corresponds to the number of vacant positions as a proportion of total labour demand (the sum of filled and unfilled positions)—decreased by 0.3 percentage points to 3.9% in July, a rate not seen since February 2021. On a year-over-year basis, the job vacancy rate was down by 1.6 percentage points, resulting from declines in vacancies (-273,700; -28.1%) combined with gains in payroll employment (+446,600; +2.7%).”
Mario Toneguzzi is Managing Editor of Canada’s Podcast. He has more than 40 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He was named in 2021 as one of the Top 10 Business Journalists in the World by PR News – the only Canadian to make the list)
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