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Canada loses 7500 jobs in May but unemployment rate unchanged

10 June 2018

Overall, Canada's unemployment rate is unchanged for the fourth consecutive month, at 5.8%.

Bank of Montreal senior economist Robert Kavcic said the wage growth suggests a strong labour market in Canada and an economy running near potential.

The Canadian economy unexpectedly shed jobs in May as hiring declined in manufacturing and construction, although wages rose at their strongest annual pace in almost six years, which could give the central bank room to raise interest rates as soon as July.

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But average hourly wages rose 3.9 per cent from a year earlier, matching a pace last seen in July, 2012.

The decline in construction jobs also comes as the country's once-hot housing market has cooled in recent months in response to rising interest rates and tighter mortgage rules that came into effect in January.

Canada shed 7,500 jobs last month on the back on full-time employment, as this was only partially offset by an uptick in part-time employment. Northeast B.C.'s rate of employment is still the highest of all economic regions of B.C.

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The loss of jobs came as the health care and social assistance sector lost 24,000 jobs, while the manufacturing sector lost 18,000.

The agency goes on to say that employment for men and women in the core working ages of 25 to 54 both fell by about 19,000 in May. That was offset in part by a gain of 23,600 part-time jobs. The professional, scientific and technical services sector added 17,000 and transportation and warehousing added 12,000.

Looking across the provinces, most of the decline could be due to B.C., where employment dropped 12.4k in May.

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In accommodation and food services, employment rose by 18,000 in May, driven by growth in British Columbia.

Canada loses 7500 jobs in May but unemployment rate unchanged