The Canadian economy experienced strong growth in October, generating 43,100 mostly full-time positions in the private sector and pushing the unemployment to a six-year low.
With the growth of 74,100 in September, October’s gains produced the largest two-month increase since March-April 2012, according to Statistics Canada. This is the first time since November-December 2012 that the economy has generated two months of consecutive gains.
The unemployment rate for October declined to 6.5%, its lowest level since November 2008.
At a news conference held to discuss the results, Finance Minister Joe Oliver said the numbers were encouraging.
“Our plans for jobs and growth are working in spite of a fragile international economic environment,” Oliver said. “As I said before, we don’t rely on one single month but when we have two months … then of course you start to see a trend, which is very positive.”
The Canadian dollar rallied nearly a cent against the U.S. dollar following this announcement, closing up 0.46 of a cent to 87.99 cents US.
The figures revealed by Statistics Canada were largely unexpected. Economists predicted a decline in the employment figures of between 5,000 and 10,000 positions with the jobless rate remaining steady at 6.8%.
The improved labour market results was especially strong in the area of Full-time employment which accounted for 26,500 of the new jobs created. Another 16,500 were part-time jobs, with the private sector creating 70,600 jobs and the public sector shedding 53,800 positions.
“All the employment gains in October were among people aged 25 to 54, with most of the increase among women in this age group,” Statistics Canada said.
Employment for youth aged between 15 and 25 also recorded gains in October, with 4,400 positions added. Commenting on the youth employment figures, Mr. Oliver said “we’re looking for permanent jobs for youth, and we’re very encouraged by the latest numbers.”
Despite the positive numbers, the Bank of Canada’s trendsetting interest rate will remain at 1% — where it has been since for more than four years — at least until mid-2015.
Overall, the October jobs reporting is excellent news for the federal government, which has stated in its press briefings that Canada has been the best performing developed nation since the 2008-09 recession. On the job creation side however, Canada remains far behind the USA.
Source: Financial Post