Be Worried For Canada Job Market in 2015, Labor Indicators Show

Canadian payroll employment dropped in November by the most in almost five years, a government report showed Thursday, adding to concern the outlook for the nation’s labor market is dimming as oil prices tumble.

The number of non-farm payroll employees fell by 33,000, Statistics Canada said, the most since August 2009, just after the last recession. The Ottawa-based agency also published revised labor force data Wednesday that cut the total number of 2014 job gains by more than a third.

Canada’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate last week in a surprise move that pushed bond yields to the lowest on record and sent the currency to the weakest in six years. Governor Stephen Poloz cited labor market weakness and the economic shock of oil plunging prices for the move.

“Putting the two reports together, the Bank of Canada was probably right in surprising the market and cutting rates,” Krishen Rangasamy, senior economist at National Bank Financial, said by telephone from Montreal. “You have to be worried for the labor market for 2015.”

Today’s report is calculated from tax filings and a sample of 15,000 businesses. Yesterday’s revisions were to the Labour Force Survey, which tracks about 54,000 households on their work status.

The payroll report showed recent job losses concentrated in resource-rich western provinces, something that didn’t appear as much in the household survey, Rangasamy said. Alberta accounted for 6,800 of the 33,000 payroll jobs lost in November, Statistics Canada said today.

Revisions to the household survey showed 121,300 positions were added in 2014, less than the 185,700 initially reported.

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