StatCan reveals that the economy added 54,000 jobs in September.
Canada’s unemployment rate nudged down to a near four-decade low last month as the economy added more jobs than analysts expected amid a tight electoral race and warnings from economists that things may not be as rosy as they seem.
Statistics Canada’s monthly labor force survey showed the country added about 54,000 net new jobs in September, driven largely by gains in full-time work, and dropping the jobless rate nationally by 0.2 points to 5.5%.
The numbers surpassed analysts’ expectations of a gain of 10,000 jobs, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv, after an August jump of 81,000.
The national statistics office said September’s jobs growth was largely concentrated in an expansion of public-sector staff and self-employed workers. The report also said 70,000 of the new jobs were full-time, as the number of part-time workers declined.
The survey also said that young workers aged 15 to 24 years old saw drops in the ranks of full- and part-time workers, inching their unemployment rate to 11.9%–not all that dissimilar from the same time one year ago.
Compared with a year earlier, the numbers show Canada added 456,000 jobs, for an increase of 2.4%. Average hourly wages, too, were up about 4.3% from the same time in 2018.
Even though year-over-year private sector jobs were up, the month-over-month numbers for private sector employment were down by 21,000. More healthcare sector and education workers drove overall job gains.
Stephen Brown, senior Canada economist with Capital Economics, said the growth in public services and self-employment may suggest the economy is not as dynamic as the high-level numbers make it out to be.
BMO chief economist Doug Porter told Reuters that despite the rock-solid growth in job numbers over the last year, the broader economy remains lackluster with year-over-year GDP growth crawling along at 1.3%.
Avery Shenfeld, chief economist with CIBC Capital Markets, wrote in a note that the low jobless rate will likely cement the case for the Bank of Canada to hold its trend-setting interest rate in the short-term.