Canadian jobs market mounts August comeback – report

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Increases in payrolls allowed the Canadian jobs market in August to recover from the previous month’s dismal performance—but Dominion Lending Centres hastened to add that there’s no reason to celebrate yet.
In a September 9 report, DLC Chief Economist Dr. Sherry Cooper noted that employment increased by approximately 0.1 per cent in August 2016, which translated to 26,000 more jobs month-over-month nationwide.
Cooper pointed at significant gains in the public sector as well as added payrolls in Quebec as the driving forces of this growth.
All in all, Canada’s workforce grew by 0.4 per cent (77,000 jobs) over the past 12 months—but a closer look would reveal that the employment surges over the past year constituted of part-time work due to economic instability and the weak performance of petroleum assets.
“Canada’s economy has been pummeled by the decline in the oil sector and the modest growth in manufacturing and service employment. While we are optimistic about a substantial growth rebound in the second half of this year continuing into 2017, lingering pain is evident,” Cooper wrote.
“The brightest spot in the economy has been housing in Vancouver and Toronto, but that has boosted household imbalances and over-extended many first-time homebuyers, leaving us vulnerable to financial instability in the future. Preliminary evidence suggests that housing may now be slowing markedly in Vancouver,” the economist added.
Cooper emphasized that these numbers should be viewed through the lens of the significant hurdles that the oil industry is facing at the moment.
“The ‘lost men’ phenomenon is showing up in Canada, as it is prevalent in the US where the number of men aged 25 to 54 in the labour force has declined precipitously–estimated at about 7-to-10 million men in the US who are not working or seeking work. This has led to an unprecedented decline in the labour force participation rate of men,” she explained, adding that the oil sector is particularly harmed as it is “dominated by male employment. Many of these lost workers are less educated.”

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