Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - 09:12

MNI DATA PREVIEW: Canada Jobs to Hold Ground After Record Gain

By Greg Quinn

OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada likely added even more jobs in May after a record increase in April as the economy kept growing.

Employment probably climbed by 5,000 last month according to the median in an MNI survey of economists, following the April increase of 106,500 that was the best ever in Statistics Canada records.

Modest job growth should be enough to keep the unemployment rate at 5.7% or to have a slight rise to 5.8%, according to economists. The jobless rate fell to a record low of 5.6% in November and remained there again in December.

The job market has been one of the strongest parts of Canada's economy in recent years. Recent reports also show growth picked up starting in March and into the second quarter, suggesting steady demand for labor.

Wages are one place the labor market figures are more in line with an economy that has grown at an annualized pace of less than 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of this year. The April jobs report showed hourly wages of permanent employees climbed 2.6% from a year earlier, less than the pace seen in past job booms.

The jobs data can influence the Bank of Canada. Policy makers have said rising consumer incomes will aid households in paying off record debts. With such strong gains in the past and unemployment so low, even a modest decline in the May report wouldn't suggest the labor market is turning into a liability.

--MNI Ottawa Bureau; +1 613-314-9647; email:

[TOPICS: M$C$$$]

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