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

UPDATE: Emergency crews responding to a serious MVI on Quesnel-Hydraulic Road

Quesnel-Hydraulic Road traffic is single lane alternating at Janicki Road

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend about 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Musical message of hope in Quesnel

A group of talented young musicians serenaded the residents and staff of Dunrovin on Sunday, May 24

Highway 97 north of Quesnel down to single lane alternating

Emcon Services Inc. crews will be working on repairs between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday, May 25

Pickleballers hit the courts after City lifts COVID-19 restrictions

Patrons must follow specific health and safety guidelines

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man with Alberta plates gets car keyed and aggressive note

Some out-of-province people are finding hostile reception due to COVID-19 worries

B.C. drive-in theatre appeals COVID-19 concession rules, 50-car limit

With 50 cars and the removal of concession sales, drive-in owner says theatre might have to close

COVID-19: B.C. grants aim to stabilize sexual assault recovery programs

$10 million fund not yet ready to take applications

B.C. mom’s drug-pricing petition on behalf of son garners thousands of signatures

Petition geared to gaining access to new medicines drew support of Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl

‘Paralyzed by fear’: B.C. woman details anxiety, grief at Italian relief hospital

Sheila Vicic spent two months in Italy as the country grappled with COVID-19

CAMH survey looks at binge-drinking, financial anxiety during COVID

Alcohol may be used as a coping mechanism for those whose careers may have been sidelined due to the pandemic

Half of Canadians say governments are hiding something about COVID-19: poll

More than a third of people believe the virus was created in a lab

Most Read