While the American economy roars ahead, Canada is watching its unemployment rate rise and its wage growth slow. Kim Mackrael reports on Canada’s economy in The Wall Street Journal:
OTTAWA—The Canadian economy unexpectedly shed jobs in August on a sharp drop in part-time work, helping to push the unemployment rate to 6.0%.
The economy dropped a net 51,600 jobs in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, Statistics Canada said Friday. Market expectations were for an increase in employment of 5,000, according to economists at Royal Bank of Canada.
Canada’s jobless rate, meanwhile, was 6.0%, up from 5.8% in the previous month and slightly higher than economists’ expectations of 5.9%. When using U.S. Labor Department methodology, Canada’s jobless rate in August was 4.9%.
Average hourly wages advanced 2.9% in August on a one-year basis, marking a slight deceleration after seven months of growth at a pace of 3.0% or higher.
The weaker-than-anticipated jobs data could weigh on some analysts’ expectations for an interest-rate increase at the Bank of Canada’s next policy announcement in October. The central bank announced earlier this week that it was keeping its benchmark overnight rate on hold at 1.50% but continues to believe that further rate increases are warranted.
Policy makers have lifted the key rate four times since mid-2017 and markets are pricing in strong odds of an October increase.
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