There were 16,000 fewer jobs in May than in April according to a leading measure of Canadian payrolls.
The ADP Canada National Employment Report shows that this fall was driven by a large drop in the number of construction jobs in the month. The sector was down by 11,200 while manufacturing and natural resources and mining sectors saw 1,400 and 1,300 fewer jobs respectively.
"May experienced a sharp decline," said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. "Construction was the primary driver for the weak numbers in May, likely due to the downward trend in housing starts and a slowdown in sales activity. Education also experienced sizable losses, while smaller declines across a number of other industries cancelled out any employment gains."
Finance and real estate was one of the strongest sectors, adding 1,400 jobs, while trade/transportation and utilities (2,300) and information (2,500) were also notably higher.
Meanwhile, data from Statistics Canada released Thursday shows that 438,300 people received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, little changed from March.
On a year-over-year basis, the number of EI beneficiaries in Canada decreased by 31,600 (-6.7%), with declines in all provinces. At the same time, employment has been trending up, increasing 2.3% over the 12 months to April.