Statistics Canada has restated its July employment report, saying there has been a miscount in the number of job losses. The agency says it was an isolated incident.
According to the agency, the July report did not count certain people as being in the labor force, as a result of which the number of full-time job losses in the month got inflated.
Last week, Statistics Canada issued revised data along with a statement. They mentioned few details about why the revisions were important but said that they were having an internal review and will publish the findings in the next two weeks.
The original July jobs report that was issued on August 8 showed that Canada had added only 200 new jobs in the month. However, the restated report mentions that the country had added 41,700 or more jobs which was more than double the market expectations.
“I am fully confident in the integrity of the labor force survey. This was an isolated incident. Statistics Canada does and will continue to publish high-quality and relevant statistical information on all aspects of the Canadian economy and society,” said Wayne Smith, head of Statistics Canada.
A scheduled upgrade of its system coincided with the July jobs report and failed to update one program, says Statistics Canada. The data agency called it a “human error”, and said that it only affected the results reported in the July release.
The error caused certain survey respondents, who should have been classified as employed, to be counted as not being in the labor force. This resulted in the agency estimating that there was a decline of 59,700 full-time jobs in the month of July. A revision of the data however indicates that the decline was closer to 18,000 full-time jobs.
Statistics Canada’s employment report is based on a survey of 56,000 households, conducted in the span of one week. The July survey was done between July 13 and July 19. Since the estimates are based on a sampling, the monthly figures will show more variability than trends observed over longer time frames, says Statistics Canada.
Attorney Colin Singer Commentary:
The miscount seems credibly explained and is an endorsement of the Canadian labour market. Recent developments seem to follow the improving US labour market. Canadian employers across Canada are expressing increasing concerns about labour shortages. This is especially the case in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. It favours those interested in applying for entry to Canada under a work permit or Canadian permanent residence (Alberta immigration, Saskatchewan immigration and British Columbia immigration programs).
Source: Wall Street Journal