Canada: Labor Market Still Strong Despite October Losses

The Canadian economy lost -1.8k jobs in October, dragged down by declines of -23.1k in manufacturing and -21.3k in construction. Ontario lost a steep -16.2k jobs, and given that auto and construction jobs are concentrated in Ontario, it would seem that part of the losses could have been due to the GM strike. The headline would have been even worse except for the approximately +20k temporary government hires for the election. Despite the losses, the labor market remains a bright spot in an otherwise sluggish economy. The prior two months saw strong job gains of +53.7k and +81.1k. On a year-to-date basis, the economy has created a vibrant +356k jobs, the most in 17 years. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.5%, just above the record low of 5.4% set in May, while the participation rate was also steady at 65.7%. Finally wages are running at a hot +4.3% y/y growth rate, just off the 10-year high of +4.5% set in July.