The Canadian labor market ended 2022 on a high note, adding 104,000 jobs in December. Experts have been anticipating a slowdown in the labor market; however, the latest reports indicate the economy is showing no signs of stopping.
In addition to adding 104,000 jobs, Statistics Canada also reported that the unemployment rate fell to 5% last month. This marks the country’s third decline in unemployment in four months. The report indicated that an increase in full-time work drove the rise in employment.
Economists have been anticipating a downturn in the economy in the fourth quarter of 2022 in response to high-interest rates and a looming recession. However, the job numbers indicate there is no sign of a slipping economy.
“It was an absolutely massive surprise,” Royce Mendes, managing director and head of macro strategy at Desjardins, told CBC News. The number was over 20 times more than the 5,000 jobs that economists had forecast, he said. “I have called this release the random number generator in the past for good reason.”
The majority of employment gains were in the private sector, though employment in the public sector held steady. Job gains were made across industries, with the construction industry and transportation and warehousing sector seeing the largest job growth.
While the year ended on a high note for employment, wages still lagged behind the inflation rate. Wages were up 5.1%, however, that growth didn’t match Canada’s inflation rate, which was 6.8% in November 2022. Salary and wages are a huge motivation behind job changes, and employees are asking for wage bumps to meet rising costs of living.
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