Todayâ€™s Job Numbers: The Bad and The Ugly
The headline numbers are bad enough: â€œemployment declined by 55,000 in March, all in full time. The unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage points to 7.2%.â€
The underlying numbers are ugly. The employment decline would have been worse but for a large jump in self-reported self-employment. The number of employees with positions paid by an employer actually fell by 93,100 in March (partially offset by 38,700 more Canadians reporting self-employment).
Official unemployment would have increased even more but for 12,300 Canadians dropping out of the labour force altogether and consequently not being counted as unemployed.
Average wages rose by only 2.1% over the past year, a bit ahead of actual inflation. But workers are just treading water relative to the Bank of Canadaâ€™s 2% inflation target.