Canada adds jobs but not enough to change expectations for hold on rates By Reuters

Canada adds jobs but not enough to change expectations for hold on rates By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A help wanted sign at a store along Queen Street West in Toronto Ontario, Canada June 10, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio/File Photo

By Ismail Shakil and Steve Scherer

OTTAWA (Reuters) -The Canadian economy added more jobs than expected in November while the jobless rate ticked slightly higher, data showed on Friday, a result that is in line with the central bank leaving interest rates unchanged next week.

Canada added a net 24,900 jobs in November, more than the 15,000 gain forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts, while the jobless rate ticked up as expected to 5.8% from 5.7%, Statistics Canada said.

Growth in Canada’s population has been outpacing employment growth, Statscan noted. The economy is now averaging a 28,000 monthly employment gain this year, while monthly population growth has averaged 80,800 over the same period.

“Employment is still rising, but not fast enough anymore to absorb rapid labor force growth,” said Nathan Janzen, assistant chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada. “The Bank of Canada looks pretty firmly on hold for next week.”

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.2% higher at 1.3530 to the greenback, or 73.91 U.S. cents.

The average hourly wage for permanent employees – a figure the Bank of Canada watches closely – rose 5.0% from November 2022, the same as the annual rise in October.

The jobs report is the last major economic data to be released ahead of the next Bank of Canada (BoC) rate announcement on Wednesday, when money markets expect the policy rate to be kept on hold.

The BoC has remained on the sidelines since July after lifting its benchmark interest rate to a 22-year high of 5% to tame inflation. Economic growth has stumbled and inflation has eased to 3.1%, according to latest data.

November’s employment gains were entirely in full-time work, which offset a decline in part-time positions.

Employment in goods sectors increased by a net 38,300 jobs, led by manufacturing. The construction sector also added jobs for the second consecutive month and the employment level in the sector is now within 15,000 of the peak reached in January, Statscan said.

Services sectors however lost a net 13,400 jobs, mostly in wholesale and retail trade and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing.

“If we look at the underlying details, they suggest that the Canadian job creation engine continued to decelerate and lose momentum,” said Karl Schamotta, chief market strategist at Cambridge Global Payments (NYSE:).

“That is going to keep rate cut expectations firm for early next year and contributes to that picture of a slowing Canadian economy overall.”

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