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Heavy Start

By Yali N'Diaye
     Ottawa (MNI) - Employment in Canada surprised on the upside in 
October, as the economy added 35,300 jobs on the month, following a 
10,000 gain in September, Statistics Canada reported Friday.
Analysts in a MNI survey had expected employment to rise half that much, 
by 15,000, with the unemployment rate unchanged at 6.2%.
     The unemployment rate actually ticked up to 6.3%, but this was 
accompanied by a rising participation rate (65.7% versus 65.6% in 
     Overall details of the report should bring reassurance to the Bank 
of Canada, which has been particularly worried about the pace of wage 
growth and the weak youth employment. 
     In October, year-over-year wage growth for permanent workers picked 
up again, accelerating to 2.4% from 2.2%. Wage increases have been 
picking up speed since a dip reached in April, when they rose just 0.7% 
from a year earlier. 
     Hours worked also increased faster overall, with a 2.7% gain 
year-over-year after rising 2.4% in September. 
     Other details of the report were also positive, with full-time 
positions once again leading the monthly gain. 
     Full-time employment was up 88,700 in October, which is especially 
impressive considering the 112,000 surge the previous month. 
     Part-time employment, on the other hand, contracted a further 
53,400 after declining 10,200 in September. 
     Year-to-date total employment gain is 264,400, with full-time up 
340,900 and part-time down 76,600. Over the same period in 2016, 
full-time was up just 17,600 and part-time 167,700, for a total 
employment increase of 185,300, reflecting the rotation towards more 
stable jobs as business sentiment has been improving. 
     Another positive factor was the 17,500 in youth employment on the 
month, along with a rising participation rate, which reached 63.7% after 
62.7% in September. 
     The BOC has been concerned over underemployment among youth, which, 
Governor Stephen Poloz said, keeps him up at night. 
     That being said, Statistics Canada pointed out that the youth 
participation rate remains lower than the average of 67% in 2007 and 
2008, and has also been trending lower on a 12-month basis (-0.8 point). 
     Also positive was the decline, albeit modest, in the proportion of 
involuntary part-time workers in total part-time employment, to 22.0% in 
October from 22.4% in September and 22.7% a year earlier. 
     New positions were concentrated in the private sector, where 
employment rose 39,100 in October after declining 15,500 in September, 
while public sector jobs were down 4,500 over the month. 
     The number of all employees rose 34,500, whereas self-employment, 
considered less stable, was up just 800. 
     On a sector basis, gains in October were led by goods-producing 
industries, where employment was up 33,900, while services lagged with 
just 1,400, as a 35,900 drop in trade was barely offset by gains in some 
other sectors. 
     Construction was particularly strong, with 18,400 positions added 
on the month, followed by a 7,800 increase in manufacturing. 
     In services, "other services" were up 21,400, followed by 
information, culture and recreation (+15,300). 
     Regionally, the largest employment gains were in Quebec and 
 --MNI Ottawa Bureau; 
     [TOPICS: M$C$$$,MACDS$]