The Canadian employment picture was weaker than expected in May, as the country unexpectedly lost about 7,500 jobs, according to figures released Friday by Statistics Canada.Despite the small drop in the number of people working, the national unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 per cent last month.
Full-time employment dropped by 31,000 in May, but that was offset by a rise in part-time work of about 23,600 jobs for the month.
Statistics Canada said employment for men and women in the core working ages of 25 to 54 both fell by about 19,000 in May. The unemployment rate for men in this age group held steady at five per cent, while it increased by 0.2 percentage points to 4.9 per cent for women
Provincially, employment increased in Prince Edward Island, while it decreased in British Columbia and Nova Scotia. Among the other provinces, little change in the job situation was seen.
Economists suggested Friday’s subdued job report won’t be enough to keep the Bank of Canada from boosting a key interest rate next month. They pointed to wage growth figures included in Friday’s report as a potential factor in that pending rate decision.
Scotiabank economist Derek Holt said wage growth in May accelerated to 3.9 per cent year-over-year for permanent employees — the fastest wage growth since July 2012.
TD senior economist Brian DePratto said the Bank of Canada “may not be encouraged by all the details of today’s report, but wage growth nearing [four per cent year-over-year] will be certain to garner discussion.”