Photo Credit: Wilfredo Lee

Canada’s economy adds 44,000 jobs in October

Canada’s economy pumped out 44,000 jobs in October, bringing the number of people employed in Canada to over 18 million for the first time in the country’s history.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that the unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage points to 7.0%.

Compared with last year, employment was up 143,000 (+0.8%), with all of the gains in full-time work, the report said.

Above expectations

October’s figure is more than four times the 10,000 new jobs that economists polled by Bloomberg were expecting.

Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Manitoba saw gains in employment, while Alberta recorded a loss of 11,000 jobs. There are about as many jobs in Alberta today as there were this time last year.

There was little or no change in the other provinces.

In October, more people were employed in public administration, wholesale and retail trade, as well as accommodation and food services. On the other hand, employment decreased in the ‘other services’ industry, natural resources and utilities.

Both the private and public sectors saw an increase in the number of employees in October, while the number of self-employed workers decreased.

Election-related jobs

By industry, the biggest gains were made in public administration, which added 32,000 jobs. The sector saw gains in every province, and mainly in temporary work.

The jump likely “coincides with activities related to the recent federal election,” the data agency said, noting there would have been jobs across the country for election-related activities during advance polling days and on election day itself, on Oct. 19.

One industry that experienced declines was natural resources, which continued on the downward trend that began a year ago. The numbers fell by 8,000 in October, with total losses in the industry climbing to 26,000 over the past 12 months and most of the declines in Alberta.

“Canada’s labour market continues to hold up better than expected,” TD Bank said in a note to clients. “In October, part of this can be chalked up to temporary election-related hiring, but private sector job growth was still strong.”

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