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MNI BRIEF: Canada Job Market Surges in Nov on Services Hiring

MNI (Ottawa)

Unemployment rate declined for sixth straight month and long run joblessness fell 16%.

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Canada's labor market blew past expectations in November with strong hiring from services companies as the economy reopened. The jobless rate dropped to 6.0% from 6.7% to come within 0.3pp of the pre-pandemic mark, and employment rose by 153,700, Statistics Canada said Friday, beating forecasts of 30,000 new jobs and 6.7% unemployment following the prior month's 31,200 job gain.

The report should ease the central bank's concern about an uneven recovery holding back the economy's potential, and investors already predict a decision Wednesday will affirm a tightening could happen as soon as April. The focus now is fastest CPI inflation in decades and today's job report also showed wages of permanent employees rose 3% from a year ago, topping the BOC's 2% target.

Unemployment headed towards 15% at the height of the pandemic and is nearing the historical low of 5.4% seen before Covid struck. The employment rate climbed to 61.4% from 61.0%, nearing the pre-Covid mark of 61.8%. Hours worked rose 0.7%, returning to the pre-pandemic level.

Canada's Unemployment Rate