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By Greg Quinn and Anahita Alinejad
Ottawa (MNI) - Canadian job creation shattered economist
forecasts last month as companies added part-time and service
workers, bolstering the central bank's argument a resilient domestic
economy can resist global trade shocks.
The 81,100 job gain for August beat the MNI economist median
for a gain of 15,000, more than reversing losses in the prior two
months. The unemployment rate remained at 5.7%, close to May's record
low of 5.4%, as more people joined the labor force.
The job market is adding to a picture of an economy doing better
than expected following a slowdown earlier this year linked to falling
energy production. Gross domestic product grew 3.7% in the second
quarter and inflation has held at the Bank of Canada's 2% target, a big
reason policy makers held their key lending rate at 1.75% Wednesday.
That decision bucked a global shift among central banks signaling new
stimulus to counter risks from a U.S.-China trade war.
Canadian wages are also strong enough now to signal they may add to
the inflation in consumer prices. Hourly wages rose 3.7% in August from
a year ago, above the 3% pace the BOC has said could be expected in such
a strong job market.
Some of the details did point to a slowdown later in the year that
the BOC is expecting. Most of the gains were in lower-paying part-time
and service jobs. Part-time positions rose 57,200 in August, ahead of
the full-time increase of 23,800. Service industries like restuarants
added 73,300 staff and goods-producing companies hired a net 7,800
The year-over-year gain in hours worked quickened to 1.2% in
August from 0.7% in July. That figure can be a benchmark of labor's
contribution to economic growth.
--MNI Ottawa Bureau; tel: +1 613-314-9647; email: