Business Professionals

An increase in full-time work fuelled a 10th-straight month of net job gains to match the economy’s longest monthly streak since the financial crisis, Statistics Canada said Friday.

September’s unemployment rate stayed at a nine-year low of 6.2% after the country added 10,000 net new jobs, including 112,000 full-time positions.

But don’t expect the increase in jobs to keep GDP at the levels seen in the first half of 2017.

“Overall, the 10K pace is about what we would expect as a trend if GDP growth is tailing off to the 2% range in the second half of the year, enough of a slowdown to keep the Bank of Canada on hold until 2018,” says Avery Shenfeld, managing director and chief economist at CIBC Capital Markets, in a note.

In contrast, Derek Holt, vice-president and head of capital markets economics at Scotiabank, suggests in an economics report that inflation may be starting to spiral upward.

Referring to Bank of Canada action, he says, “If 2015 was about taking out insurance against uncertainties to the downside, then a symmetrical response to the inflation target’s risks should arguably involve taking out insurance against being behind the inflation curve. […] Our call is a hike in December.” He adds that a potential hike in October must be viewed as live.

Read: Monetary policy to be data dependent: BoC

The rise in full-time work more than offset a drop of 102,000 part-time jobs; however, last month’s job gains were entirely driven by growth in public-sector employment. That wipes out the nearly opposite story in the prior month’s survey, notes Shenfeld. “That’s just a reminder of how imprecise these monthly survey data really are,” he says.

The September figures also showed yet another improvement in the important indicator of wage growth. Compared to the year before, the report said average hourly wages grew at the above-inflation pace of 2.2%, for the biggest increase since April 2016.

The numbers show the employment increase was also concentrated in factory work as the goods-producing sector added 10,500 jobs, compared to a loss of 500 positions in the services industry.

The survey detected a gain of 10,800 paid employee jobs, while the number of people who described themselves as self-employed, including unpaid workers in family businesses, fell by 800.

Read: Morneau open to changing tax proposals

Statistics Canada said Ontario gained 34,700 jobs in September for its fourth monthly increase in five months and, compared to a year earlier, the province’s employment was 2.4% higher. Manitoba shed 5,500 positions for its first notable decline since April 2016, the report said.

Overall, the national numbers show that Canada’s year-over-year employment expanded 1.8% with the addition of 319,700 net new jobs, of which more than 90% were full-time positions.

The run of 10 consecutive months of job creation marked the country’s longest streak of total employment gains since February 2008.

Also read:

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