OTTAWA Feb 3 The Canadian economy created
slightly more jobs than previously thought in 2016, with much of
the growth coming from part-time employment, though economists
expect some of that deterioration in the quality of jobs to
dissipate this year.
Canada added 229,000 jobs as of the end of 2016 compared
with December the year before, according to revised data from
That was up from the previously reported annual gain of
214,100. The agency revises its data annually to incorporate new
Part-time work accounted for much of the change, jumping by
155,600 positions, compared with a gain of just 73,500 full-time
"It definitely softens the picture of labor market
strength," said Robert Kavcic, senior economist at BMO Capital
However, the national picture should look better through
2017 as the commodity provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan
stabilize from the hit from lower oil prices, adding to already
strong growth elsewhere in the country, said Kavcic.
On the whole, the revised numbers reinforced that Canada had
strong job growth in the second half of last year, offsetting
weakness at the beginning of 2016 as the economy grappled with
the fallout of the oil price crash.
While last year's skew toward part-time jobs could weigh on
income growth and consumer spending, the fiscal stimulus from
the Canadian government and a looked-for pickup in U.S. growth
should offset that, said Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist
at Royal Bank of Canada.
Stronger Canadian growth should also create more full-time
jobs, Ferley said.
"We've had some strength in growth, so with that I think you
would probably see some rebound in terms of full-time employment
and some slowing in part-time," he said.
December's unemployment rate was unrevised at 6.9 percent.
The Bank of Canada has pointed to material slack in the labor
market underlying the official unemployment rate as a reason for
the central bank to keep interest rates low.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)