More Jobs, But Fewer Hours
This morning, Statistics Canada reported that employment jumped by an incredible 93,200 in June. But the total number of hours worked actually declined. In effect, less work was divided up between more workers. (By contrast, a similar employment jump in April corresponded to a large increase in hours worked.)
Less Unemployment: A Central Canadian Story
The advantage of dividing less work among more workers is that it reduces unemployment. However, because the number of workers seeking employment also increased, 93,200 more jobs reduced total unemployment by only 31,200.
Furthermore, this welcome decrease in unemployment was entirely concentrated in three provinces: Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba. In the other seven provinces, both the absolute number of unemployed workers and the unemployment rate increased.
The New Jobs
Employment gains were evenly split between full-time and part-time work. There are 51,900 more private-sector employees, 25,600 more self-employed people, and 15,700 more public-sector employees.
Employment declined in goods-producing industries. All of the employment gains were in the service sector, especially retail and wholesale trade, support services and healthcare and social assistance.
Wages and Inflation
Wages were anemic in Ontario and New Brunswick, rising only 0.8%, and almost completely flat in Alberta, edging up just 0.2%. Relative to inflation, workers in these provinces have taken a pay cut over the past year.