Statistics Canada’s Main Building at Tunny’s Pasture in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Slight jobs decline in Canada as wages speed up, unemployment stays low

The jobless rate ticked up to 5.5 per cent in June, compared with 5.4 per cent in May

Canada’s economy posted a slight decline in employment in June, a month that still saw the jobless rate stay near its four-decade low and wages rise to their highest level in over a year.

The unemployment rate edged up to 5.5 per cent, compared with 5.4 per cent in May — which was its lowest mark since the government started collecting comparable data in 1976, Statistics Canada said Friday.

Overall, the report said the economy shed 2,200 net positions after adding about 24,000 full-time jobs and the losing about 26,000 part-time jobs.

Even with the small decline, the labour market has had a strong start to the year.

The economy added 248,000 new positions — almost all of which were full time — over the first half of 2019 to give Canada its strongest six-month stretch of job growth to start a year since 2002.

The labour force survey’s measures for wages, among the indicators closely followed by the Bank of Canada ahead of its interest-rate decisions, perked up last month.

READ MORE: Cannabis industry employs more than 10,000 people across Canada

Year-over-year average hourly wage growth for all employees was 3.8 per cent in June, giving the indicator its strongest month since May 2018 and second-best reading in a decade. It has been climbing in recent months — after hitting 2.8 per cent in May and 2.5 per cent in April.

Quebec saw wage growth reach five per cent for its highest level since April 2009.

CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld didn’t expect the jobs report Friday to change the Bank of Canada’s thinking ahead its interest-rate announcement next Wednesday. Like most analysts, he predicts the central bank to leave the rate unchanged.

“We’ll forgive Canada’s job market for taking an early summer holiday in terms of employment gains, given the massive surge in hiring that preceded it,” Shenfeld wrote in a report to clients.

“The details of June were a bit more encouraging with a (24,000) climb in full-time employment and the weakness concentrated in ‘self employment,’ as paid jobs gains a hefty (39,000).”

Compared with a year earlier, employment was up 421,100 or 2.3 per cent, the report said. Of those new positions, 314,500 of them were full time.

Last month, paid employee positions rose by 39,200, with 16,200 new jobs in the public sector and 23,000 in the private sector.

The number of people who identified themselves as self-employed dropped by 41,400.

The factory sector shed 32,800 jobs in June with the bulk of the losses in manufacturing.

The services sector added 30,600 jobs last month following a surge of new positions created in health care and social assistance.

Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Red Deer down to one confirmed active case of COVID-19

18 new cases were confirmed across the province Saturday

Bentley teacher injects online lessons with fun and creativity

‘Howe’s Historical Moments’ makes learning that much more memorable for the youngsters

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The Rimbey Review covers the stories that matter to you and to our community

N.S. fire crews continue battling ‘out-of-control’ Porters Lake blaze

Word of the fire first emerged early Saturday afternoon

Technology, representation butt heads amid debate over resuming Parliament

The Liberals are now proposing four meetings a week until June 17

Procession for Snowbirds crash victim makes its way through Halifax

The 35-year-old military public affairs officer and Halifax native died in the crash

Who is at highest risk of exposure to COVID-19? Firefighters, drivers, pharmacists, cooks

Central Alberta firefighter says virus taking toll on mental health

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada as of May 23

There are 83,621 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada

Procession for Snowbirds crash victim to make its way through Halifax today

The military public affairs officer died in the Snowbirds Tutor jet crash in B.C. last Sunday

Employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

Only eight per cent of employers were fully prepared to restart operations, survey finds

Central Alberta woman recognized by province for making hospital gowns

Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition program honours Christine Engel

Most Read