Despite some weak data, Canada’s employers are hiring at a record pace. Paul Vieira reports in The Wall Street Journal:
Employment in Canada surged in January, led by the biggest one-month private-sector hiring spree on record, while the unemployment rate climbed on a sharp increase in the number of young people looking for a job.
The Canadian economy added a net 66,800 jobs in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, Statistics Canada said Friday. That easily smashed market expectations for a net jobs increase of 5,000, according to economists at Royal Bank of Canada. In the previous month, Canadian employment rose 9,300.
Canada’s jobless rate increased to 5.8% in January, from 5.6% in the previous month. When using U.S. Labor Department methodology, Canada’s jobless rate in January was 4.8%, compared with 4% in the U.S.
The uptick in the jobless rate was attributed to more people looking for work. Over 103,000 Canadians joined the labor force in January, the data agency said, marking the largest one-month gain since late 2009. People aged 15 to 24 years of age accounted for over half of the increase in the labor force.
Job growth has remained strong in the face of overall weakness in Canadian economic activity. Canada’s gross domestic product shrank in November from the previous month, and growth for the fourth quarter of 2018 and first three months of 2019 is expected to decelerate sharply, according to a forecast from the Bank of Canada. The Bank of Canada kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged last month at 1.75%, and it isn’t expected to raise its rate until later this year due to economic softness.
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