No News is Bad News for Canadaâ€™s Job Market
Todayâ€™s job numbers are remarkably similar to last monthâ€™s figures. Total employment as well as employment in most sectors and industries was virtually unchanged. Stagnation is bad news given our growing population and that 1.4 million Canadians remain unemployed.
There were also some notable shifts beneath the headline numbers. Total employment stayed the same because 32,200 additional part-time positions masked the loss of 32,400 full-time jobs. There was also a regional shift, with job gains in the western provinces offsetting employment declines in Ontario and Quebec.
A flat jobs report for June is perhaps not surprising on the heels of the incredible numbers reported for May. Putting aside fluctuations in the monthly data, the underlying story seems to be that Canadaâ€™s job market has been crawling along at a snailâ€™s pace in 2013.
As Statistics Canada notes, employment growth has averaged 14,000 per month in the first half of this year. That is not enough to keep pace with population growth, let alone put a dent in unemployment.
UPDATE (July 7): This commentary was quoted on the front page of yesterdayâ€™s Toronto Star business section. My commentary on Thursdayâ€™s Statistics Canada article on youth employment was picked up by The National Post, Yahoo Finance and Canadian Press (using my pseudonym).