Jobs Up, But Hours Flat

On the surface, today’s employment numbers simply continue a recent trend: employers added some jobs but not enough to keep pace with Canada’s growing labour force. As a result, unemployment edged back up to 7%.

But just below the surface were some even worse developments. Employers actually cut 29,000 full-time positions while adding 55,000 part-time positions in May. Over the past year, the number of hours paid by Canadian employers edged up by only 0.1%, although these hours are now split between more employees.

By industry, the single largest change in May was the loss of 23,000 jobs in natural resources, a relatively well-paid sector. That was offset by more service-sector jobs, which tend to pay less. The average hourly wage edged up by only 1.4% over the past year, less than the rate of inflation.

I did the following interview yesterday comparing the Canadian and American job markets:

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