Labour Market Stalls
Canadaâ€™s job market stalled in May. Employment edged up by 7,700, almost all of it part-time. In fact, the number of employees paid by Canadian employers fell by 15,600. Total “employment” rose only because 23,300 more Canadians reported themselves as self-employed.
Over the past year, employment has grown slightly less than the labour force, leaving 1.4 million Canadians officially unemployed. The participation and employment rates remain unchanged:
The economy is not creating enough jobs to get unemployed Canadians back to work. The federal government is aggravating this problem by making it easier for employers to import temporary foreign workers and more difficult for unemployed Canadians to access Employment Insurance.
There are a couple of bright spots in todayâ€™s numbers. Manufacturing employment increased by 36,400 in May, continuing a welcome recovery in that sector. Over the past year, Canadaâ€™s average hourly wage increased by a solid 3%. Even in Ontario, it rose by 2.8%.
BC and Saskatchewan were notable exceptions to both positive trends, losing 2,900 and 200 manufacturing jobs respectively in May. Average hourly wages rose by only 1.1% in BC and 2.6% in Saskatchewan over the past year. Workers fell behind the cost of living in BC and barely kept pace with it in Saskatchewan.