Edmonton Shines as One of Canada’s Leading Job Growth Cities
Canada saw its unemployment rate dip to 7.2 percent during the month of November when 59,300 new jobs were created. Statistics Canada released its report this past Friday. The agency noted that the month had the strongest numbers of the year, not only in quantity, but in the quality of jobs. The majority were full time, and in the private business sector. Average hours worked also ticked up by 0.2 percent during that same month.
Not surprising, some of Western Canada’s metro areas had the best employment numbers. On top was Regina at 4.0 percent, followed by Edmonton at 4.1 percent and Calgary with 4.7 percent, all well below the national average.
Report stats far outdid what economists were predicting. Those in the know expected a gain of some 10,000 jobs, expecting the weak summer numbers to carry over from the third quarter into the fourth. The third quarter of 2012 did see only a 0.6 percent growth.
The Bank of Montreal’s Doug Porter, economist with that firm, noted that the economy in Canada is stronger that previously believed. The November numbers were the best seen in the last year. The Canadian dollar also gained 0.25 of a cent on the United States greenback, with $1 in Canadian funds being worth $101.14 in USD.
Helping that currency rise was the jobs report from south of the border. The November unemployment rate in the United States was at its lowest since 2008, coming in at 7.7 percent. Some 146,000 jobs were also created during that same month. That figure was downgraded a bit by the Labor Department adjusting the September and October job numbers down by 49,000 jobs.
Still, both countries have experienced positive reports. As far as Canada goes, it shows that Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of Canada, was right when he noted the 2012 third quarter results were an anomaly. Carney believes the economy will continue to grow through 2013. Not all analysts agree with him.
Carney may use this report, and future ones, if they go in the same direction, to reconsider raising interest rates or make other monetary policy changes. It’s too early to predict the when and the where of that.
During the past year, Canada has added 294,000 net jobs, which is quite healthy. The only part that is a bit concerning is that most of the job gains were in the service sector. Some 28,000 jobs were in that industry, and in the lower paying restaurant and hotel industry jobs. The sector concerning goods production actually saw a decrease of some 6,000 jobs.
Retail services and wholesale trades picked up 25,000 jobs while the scientific, technical and professional sector accounted for 23,000 jobs. The manufacturing sector lost 20,000 jobs and the construction industry lost 8,400 jobs. A category labeled as other saw a drop of 15,000 jobs.
Wages also decreased. Statistics Canada noted that November’s average wage numbers decreased by 2.2 percent compared to last November, and were 3.7 percent less than in this last October. Analysts haven’t quite figured out the reason for that disparity as of yet.
Ontario’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.4 percent to come in at 7.9 percent and was the province with the most improvement, netting 32,000 jobs. Quebec added roughly 18,000 jobs while Alberta’s gains were about 10,000. Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and British Columbia saw fractional rises in their unemployment rates.