Published: Tue, January 14, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

Canadian economy adds 35200 jobs in December

Canadian economy adds 35200 jobs in December

The latest jobs report included downward revisions to both October and November's payroll gains.

Worker pay was a disappointment, rising only 2.9 per cent compared to December 2018 - the first time that measure has fallen below three per cent since July 2018.

Futures traders maintained the amount of easing they expect from the Federal Reserve. Treasury yields, the Bloomberg dollar index and S&P 500 futures all gave up ground in the immediate aftermath of the report before recovering. The pace of annual average wage growth slowed in December to 2.9 percent from 3.1 percent in the prior month, a possible sign that there is still room for additional job gains despite the decade-plus expansion.

But other economists were less fazed by December's print on wage gains. "Part of it may be just due to the underlying fact that inflation expectations among folks just remain very very low". The strength of the labor market will also factor into Donald Trump's re-election chances in November, with the president repeatedly touting economic gains as a reason he deserves a second term.

Although job numbers fell sharply in B.C., the unemployment rate was still the lowest in Canada at 4.8%, down 0.2 percentage points from a month earlier. Another 4.1 million were counted among those working part-time because their hours had been cut or they'd been unable to find full-time positions.

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Irina Novoselsky, CEO of the jobs site CareerBuilder, said that more employers are offering non-wage benefits such as the chance to work remotely to potential workers and becoming less focused on educational credentials when hiring. Wage gains over the past 15 month have averaged over 3% for the best earnings stretch since the end of the recession in June 2009.

While the unemployment rate for all Americans held steady at 3.5 percent, it actually dipped for white people while jumping for Black folks - especially Black men. Indeed, the chief economist at Goldman Sachs reportedly observed that the USA economy is "nearly-recession proof".

The Fed cut its benchmark interest rate three times previous year, but has signaled it plans to hold the rate steady for now, depending on economic developments. As the Friday report further shows, there are significant differences this year between the figures from ADP-Moody's and the government.

"Education and health services", a jobs-creating frontrunner in many recent months, had an employment gain in December of +36,000. Quebec added 21,100 jobs in the month, helped by gains in the accommodation and food services sector as well as manufacturing.

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