Quebec and Alberta drive larger-than-expected jobs growth in October
OTTAWA -- The economy added 35,300 jobs in October but the unemployment rate crept higher, with more young people looking for work, Statistics Canada said Friday.
The agency said the number of full-time positions swelled by 88,700, while part-time employment dropped by 53,400 jobs.
The unemployment rate increased to 6.3 per cent, up from 6.2 per cent in September.
CIBC said the jobs numbers showed signs of hope for the end of 2017.
“Growth may be cooling into the second half of the year, but no one told the labour market,” CIBC Economics said in a note to clients. “Through this continued momentum, employment readings tell us that the wheels aren’t falling off the Canadian growth outlook.”
The "other services" category led the growth in jobs with a gain of 21,400 positions, while the construction industry gained 18,400. Information, culture and recreation industries added 15,300 jobs.
Offsetting those gains, the wholesale and retail trade sector lost 35,900 positions.
"After modest net job gains through the summer, October’s strong result suggest there is still some life left in the economic upswing," Douglas Porter, chief economist at BMO Financial Group, said.
"While one single jobs report will not sway the Bank of Canada, officials will no doubt be encouraged by the moderate wage uptick, and the robust private-sector and full-time job gains."
Regionally, Quebec posted the largest increase with a gain of 18,400 jobs, while Alberta added 11,900. Manitoba added 4,000 jobs and Newfoundland and Labrador rose by 3,400. Saskatchewan lost 4,000 jobs in October.
Compared with a year ago, employment was up by 308,100 jobs as the number of full-time jobs increased by 396,800 and the number of part-time positions fell by 88,700.
"The Canadian labour market remains consistent with a view that the Canadian economy is operating at or very near to capacity," TD Economics said in a note to clients.
"As such, we reiterate what we said last week after the Bank of Canada decision. The economy is in something of a sweet spot, as economic slack is gradually giving way to rising capacity pressures and growth evolving back towards its longer-term trend."
The jobs figures came as Statistics Canada also reported that the country's trade deficit totalled $3.2 billion in September, essentially unchanged from the previous month which was revised to a deficit of $3.2 billion compared with an initial estimate of $3.4 billion.
The trade deficit came as exports fell 0.3 per cent to $43.6 billion in the month, a fourth consecutive monthly decline.
A 10.6 per cent drop in exports of motor vehicles and parts were offset in part by a 7.2 per cent increase in exports of energy products. Prices of exports fell 0.6 per cent, while volumes grew 0.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, imports fell 0.3 per cent to $46.7 billion as imports of electronic and electrical equipment and parts fell 4.6 pr cent and consumer goods fell 1.9 per cent.
Prices of imports fell 1.5 per cent, but volumes increased 1.3 per cent.
-- With files from BNN
Here are the jobless rates last month by province (previous month in brackets):
-- Newfoundland and Labrador 14.5 per cent (15.1)
-- Prince Edward Island 10.3 (9.5)
-- Nova Scotia 8.7 (9.0)
-- New Brunswick 7.8 (7.8)
-- Quebec 6.1 (6.0)
-- Ontario 5.9 (5.6)
-- Manitoba 5.2 (5.5)
-- Saskatchewan 5.9 (6.2)
-- Alberta 7.8 (7.9)
-- British Columbia 4.9 (4.9)