Election Hires Lead More-Than-Expected Canada Oct. Job Gain

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Canadian employment rose more than economists forecast in October with most of the increase coming from temporary workers hired to prepare for a federal election.

The job rolls grew by 44,400, the fourth straight monthly advance, lowering the unemployment rate to 7 percent from 7.1 percent, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa. The public administration category rose by 32,000 on temporary work related to the election.

There was strength beyond the one-time boost from the Oct. 19 vote that brought Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to power, with employment excluding election jobs still exceeding the 10,000 gain forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. The job market has been one of the strongest parts of the world’s 11th largest economy this year, with hiring sustained through an oil shock that shrank output in the first half.

“The economy looks to be grinding along at a pace just fast enough to absorb population growth and keep the unemployment rate pegged at around 7% for now,” Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Financial Group, said in a not to investors. “That’s likely enough to keep the Bank of Canada on hold for the foreseeable future.”

Retail and wholesale companies hired 17,600 people in October, and food service and accommodation employment rose by 12,900. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz has said gains at non-energy companies can lead a recovery from the commodities slump that will take until around mid-2017 to complete.

Canada’s dollar fell after the U.S. reported a stronger job gain of 271,000 for October, the most this year, and a sign the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates at its December meeting while Poloz is expected to remain on hold. The currency depreciated 0.5 percent to C$1.3237 per U.S. dollar at 8:35 a.m. Toronto time. Canada’s two-year government bond yield rose to

0.67 percent from 0.63 percent.

Slack Remains

“The Canadian job numbers are volatile but the takeaway is this doesn’t matter, the U.S. is in the driver’s seat,” Derek Holt, Scotiabank’s vice-president of economics, said by phone from Toronto. Canada’s jobless rate also suggests “there is some slack still in the Canadian job market,” he said.

Part-time employment rose by 35,400 in October and full-time work by 9,000, Statistics Canada said. Public-sector employment rose by 30,500 and private companies hired another 41,300 people.

Workers designated by Statistics Canada as employees rose by 71,700. The self-employed category declined by 27,300 in October.

Educational services declined by 3,600 in October following a September drop of 51,300 that the agency said at the time may have been related to unusual seasonal patterns.

The natural resources category fell by 8,000 in October. Job cuts from energy and commodity producers over the last month have come from Husky Energy Inc., Athabasca Oil Corp., Cenovus Energy Inc., Meg Energy Corp. and Devon Energy Corp.

Husky Energy said Oct. 30 it plans to keep cutting jobs after eliminating 1,400 positions, the most disclosed at the time by a Canadian energy company in the oil-price slump. “It is evident that the global oil dynamic has experienced a fundamental shift, driven by the resilience in supply,” Husky Chief Executive Officer Asim Ghosh said in a release.

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