DLC's Cooper on October's wage growth

by Ephraim Vecina08 Nov 2017
Accelerated pace of wage growth along with steady gains in labour numbers in October staved off an expected slowdown in the Canadian employment market, according to the chief economist of the Dominion Lending Centres.

In a recent posting in the broker network’s online portal, Dr. Sherry Cooper noted that the national economy – and by extension, household income and Canadians’ purchasing power – has experienced growth on a fundamental level, especially with the 2.4% year-over-year increase in the hourly earnings of permanent employees.

This represented the strongest annual wage growth since April 2016, Cooper stated.

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“Another sign of stellar growth was the 2.7% year-over-year gain in total hours worked… The jobless rate has [also] trended downward over the past year, falling 0.7 percentage points,” Cooper added. “While the overall unemployment rate was 6.3% last month, the jobless rate for prime workers–those aged 25- to 54-years old is much lower–posted at 5.1% for women and 5.6% for men.”

“Total employment increased by 35,300 last month and the unemployment rate rose a tick to 6.3% as the labour force participation rate edged up a bit to 65.7%–well above the level in the U.S.,” Cooper elaborated. “Full-time jobs rose 88,700 while part-time jobs fell by 53,400–evidence of strong improvement in the quality of net-new job creation.”

The economist stated that this growth was the culmination of the strongest 2-month employment increase on record. Nationwide, a total of approximately 201,000 full-time jobs were added in those 2 months alone.

“This report might force the Bank of Canada to reconsider its view that there remains a lot of slack in the Canadian jobs market,” Cooper said, adding that per StatsCan data, “the most significant employment gains were in Quebec, followed by Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick.”

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