Canada unemployment unchanged in October at 5.5%

Daniel Fowler
November 10, 2019

BRUCE Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, reacting to the release of Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey for October, pointed out: "Our economy remains resilient, with low unemployment, higher wages and positive job growth despite challenges both globally and here in Canada".

The unemployment rate increased to 6.7 per cent in October, compared to 6.2 per cent in September. Over the past year, B.C.'s average hourly wages have increased by $1.55, or 5.8%. We still expect the Bank of Canada to cut rates in January, but the state of the labour market is the least of their worries.

Most of the new jobs were in westernmost British Columbia and the Atlantic island province of Newfoundland.

The manufacturing sector lost 23,000 jobs, mostly in Ontario, while the construction sector lost 21,000. But going forward, the question is whether Friday's results were a blip or whether a malaise that has affected other segments of the economy has spread to the job market. He added: "We remain dedicated to supporting workers in these industries, especially those in forestry jobs". The unemployment rate held steady at 5.5 per cent.

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Employment in public administration jumped by about 20,000 in October, though temporary hiring related to the federal election likely masked what would have otherwise been a steeper overall job loss.

Building permits fell 6.5 percent in September following a rise of 5.6 percent in the previous month. The unemployment rate in again the lowest in the country at 4.7%.

Almost 90 per cent of last month's job surge took place on the Ottawa side of the river, where 8,500 jobs were created, compared to 1,200 in Gatineau.

But that contrasts with "much softer" economic growth (GDP), noted CIBC analyst Royce Mendes said in a research note.

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