Year-to-date employment growth the largest in nearly two decades

by Ephraim Vecina16 Oct 2019

From January to September, Canada saw its largest infusion of new employees for that nine-month period since 2002, with the addition of 358,100 jobs during that time frame.

Last month accounted for 54,000 of these new jobs, while the national unemployment rate plummeted to a near-record low of 5.5%.

September’s increase considerably paced earlier expert predictions of just 7,500 new jobs and a flat unemployment rate in September.

CIBC World Markets Inc. chief economist Avery Shenfeld argued that this shows the Canadian economy’s insulation against the worst effects of global trade turmoil.

“Canada’s labour market seems to have been vaccinated against the global economic flu going around,” Shenfeld wrote in an investor note last week, as quoted by Bloomberg.

The September employment growth accompanied a 4.3% annual increase in hourly wages, exceeding the 3.7% growth observed in August. Total hours worked also went up by 1.3% year-over-year last month, slightly up from the 1.2% in August.

In its mid-September report, the Canadian Real Estate Association adjusted its home sales projections upward due to the influence of lower rates for longer-term mortgages.

For 2019, overall Canadian home sales will likely recover to 482,000 units, growing by 5% from the five-year low registered last year. This was 19,000 transactions greater than CREA’s previous forecast, although it’s still considerably below the annual record of nearly 540,000 set in 2016.

For 2020, the CREA predicted 7.5% growth, up to 518,100 units sold. While a bit lower than expected, much of this will be due to “a weak start to 2019 rather than a significant change in sales trends out to the end of next year.”

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