TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s economy added 22,200 jobs in August, mostly in part-time employment, Statistics Canada said on Friday. The jobless rate fell to 6.2 percent in August from 6.3 percent in July, matching the most recent low of October 2008.
The services sector added 35,900 jobs, with gains in the finance, insurance, real estate and leasing sector. The goods producing sector lost a net 13,700 jobs, mostly in manufacturing.
“We’re just coming off a phenomenal job growth in this country. The big downside surprise is all of the strength is in part time work, a big loss in full time jobs. But again, you really have to put that in perspective given the up-swell in job growth in the past year.
“If you factor in the weakness in full time jobs, I would characterize the report on the soft side. But again, it’s just one month and it’s coming off eleven previous months of exceptional strength in the jobs market.
“The one good point to highlight is professional, scientific, technical services are still generating a lot of jobs. Almost seven percent in the past year and those are generally high paying positions.
“The unemployment rate fell further...that’s something the Bank of Canada will keep an eye on. It’s telling the Bank we’re getting closer to full employment. It probably increases the odds of another rate increase.
“It probably raises the odds a little bit the Bank of Canada moving as early as October. Our general sense though is that they’ll hold off until early next year, January.”
PAUL FERLEY, ASSISTANT CHIEF ECONOMIST, ROYAL BANK OF CANADA
“The Canadian economy continues to generate jobs - it’s at a slightly more moderate pace than what we’ve been looking at in the first half of the year, but it still represents solid hiring by Canadian firms, adding further onto those earlier gains and sufficient to push the unemployment rate down again.”
“One item of note is the report is starting to show a bit more in the way of wage pressure with the year-over-year rate rising pretty significantly to 1.7 percent from the 1.2 percent we saw in July and during the spring we were looking at wage increases below 1 percent.”
“A hallmark of employment this year has been pretty steady gains and the August report this morning is consistent with that.”
“It’s marginally supportive (to the Canadian dollar). The employment gains were a little bit stronger than expectations and the drop in the unemployment rate was unexpected, but I think the market’s going to take note of the rise of the wage measure.”
DEREK HOLT, HEAD OF CAPITAL MARKETS ECONOMICS AT SCOTIABANK
“The headline beat, but the composition of the job gains was mixed and in my opinion poor on balance. The number I would focus upon the most is the wage figures, from a Bank of Canada standpoint. That’s a pretty solid appreciation in the pace of wage growth.”
“On the composition, the fact that it was all part-time, much of it was self-employed, it wasn’t much on the payroll side of the picture. Again, the goods sector, jobs were shed in favor of service sector employment. That’s not a great overall mixture.
“But again, I’d put the emphasis upon wages and I think we are on the path to 2.5 to 3 percent wage growth off into next year.”
Reporting by Fergal Smith, Solarina Ho and Susan Taylor; Editing by Denny Thomas