After two months of growth, Canada’s workforce lost more than 2,000 jobs in June as the unemployment rate crept up to 5.5%, according to latest data from Statistics Canada.
While 24,100 full-time posts were filled last month, this was offset by the loss of 26,200 part-time jobs nationwide. These followed the 27,700 new employees in May and the much stronger 106,500 jobs in April.
All in all, the Canadian economy saw the addition of 247,500 jobs since the end of last year. Aside from being the strongest first-half gain since 2002, this was also the second best first-half growth in four decades.
In the greater scheme of things, the slight jobs loss might be a mere blip considering that approximately 700,000 new jobs have been added to the economy over the past two years, StatsCan stated last month.
Much of this strength was brought about by robust growth in service-related industries such as technology and transportation. Among the strongest provincial drivers were BC, Ontario, and Quebec, which were all relatively unaffected by the recent slowdown in the oil sector.
A particular stand-out was May 2019, which posted the largest year-over-year growth since before last decade’s recession, at 2.4%.
The May data “was a good number with strong details, in contrast with pretty soft numbers in the U.S.,” Scotiabank chief foreign-exchange strategist Shaun Osborne said last month, as quoted by the Financial Post.
“This suggests greater capacity for the Bank of Canada to stay on hold if the Fed does cut rates.”