Statistics Canada says economy lost 1,800 jobs in October


The Canadian job market stagnated unexpectedly in October, losing 1,800 net positions, while the unemployment rate remained at 5.5 per cent, Statistics Canada said on Friday, as employment declined in the manufacturing and construction sectors.

In another encouraging sign, the labour force participation rate also went up, from 59 per cent in September to 59.9 per cent in October.

In Ontario, the jobless rate held steady at 5.3 per cent.

"After a couple of months of outsized gains, Canada's labour market didn't get the job done in October", he said, predicting a further slowdown in employment growth ahead.

"We, however, don't put too much stock in the above-4 per cent wage reading, given that it's coming off of a strangely slow year last year and tends to be very volatile", he said in a note. The number of self-employed workers in October fell by 27,800.

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"I don't think one number will move the needle a whole lot at the Bank of Canada, but at the margin it's a little bit more of a cautious signal", Derek Holt, vice president of capital markets economics at Scotiabank, said of the jobs report. The unemployment rate in again the lowest in the country at 4.7%.

"Year-over-year, B.C. added 50,000 more jobs, of which more than 40,000 were full time, and last week, Vancouver was named the top city in North America for tech-sector job growth".

BC Liberals said they feel concerned after the Business Council of British Columbia recently downgraded its economic outlook for the province from a GDP growth of 2 per cent, down to 1.8 per cent in 2019.

According to Statistics Canada, manufacturing and construction industries shed a combined 44,000 jobs in October, while finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing sectors added 18,000 jobs.