Unemployment rate in Greater Victoria is Canada's lowest

Marco Green
January 14, 2020

Canada gained a higher-than-expected 35,200 net jobs in December, entirely in full-time positions, while the unemployment rate fell to 5.6%, official data showed on Friday, figures that could ease some concerns about the strength of the Canadian economy.

There is one serious feat, considering that the recession is now a decade in the past.

Ontario added 25,100 jobs in December, boosted by gains in construction and public administration.

Irina Novoselsky, CEO of the jobs site CareerBuilder, said that more employers are offering non-wage benefits such as the chance to work remotely to potential workers and becoming less focused on educational credentials when hiring. The lowest unemployment rate in 2018 had been 3.7%.

On a monthly basis, average hourly earnings increased by 0.1% in December, missing estimates for a 0.3% gain. Notable job gains occurred in retail trade and health care, while mining lost jobs.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.6 per cent for the final month of the year, compared with a rate of 5.9 per cent in November when the country lost 71,200 jobs.

The U.S. dollar decreased in value in late trading on Friday as investors saw the worse than predicted jobs data.

The total number of unemployed was 5.8 million, down from 6.3 million a year earlier, and the unemployment rate a year ago was 3.9%. Quebec added 21,100 jobs in the month, helped by gains in the accommodation and food services sector as well as manufacturing.

Details: Job gains were revised lower by a combined 14,000 in October and November.

ADP reported private sector employment increased by 202,000 jobs in December.

Most of the December employment gains came from service industries, extending a trend present throughout 2019 amid broad-based softness in the manufacturing sector. This level was lower than any point since at least 1994, or as far back as Bloomberg data tracks.

The labor participation rate held steady at 63.2 percent. "It is important to remember that periods of stronger wage growth for production/nonsupervisory workers in this recovery tend to be followed by periods of relatively weaker growth". The report offers a cleaner read on manufacturing and overall employment after a strike involving 46,000 General Motors Co. workers subtracted from the October count and propped up the November reading. Payrolls in November grew by 266,000, while revisions pushed payroll gains in the previous two months up by a combined 41,000. That led to the average of total people employed past year, at 251,200, being 1,700 fewer than in 2018. But the company stopped expanding its payroll the past six months, as some customers slowed output.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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