Canada's economy gains 9,300 jobs, beating forecasts

Canada's economy gains 9,300 jobs, beating forecasts”

The average hourly wage growth for permanent employees was 1.46 percent in November and it has decelerated steadily since its May peak of 3.9 percent.

The Bank of Canada has been watching wage growth ahead of its rate decisions as it tries to determine how well-indebted households can absorb higher borrowing costs. Increases were recorded in manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, as well as in health care and social assistance. The central bank has pushed its benchmark rate north five times since the summer of 2017, with its next announcement set for Wednesday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a gain of 5,500 positions in December and for the jobless rate to increase to 5.7 percent from 5.6 percent in November, a month when a record 94,100 jobs were created.

Governor Stephen Poloz has signalled that more increases will be needed to prevent inflation from rising too high.

The economy shed 18,900 full-time jobs in December while part-time positions grew by 28,300.

The jobless rate was 5.4 per cent in December, that's compared to 6.0 per cent in November.

"Without bottom-up wage pressure, further monetary tightening is clearly not urgent".

Canadian employment gains hit a three-year low in 2018, official data showed on Friday, reinforcing market expectations that the Bank of Canada will keep interest rates unchanged next week. Employment also increased 0.9 per cent in December and rose 1.9 per cent since December 2017.

In Ontario alone, employment increases by 1.1 per cent. Statistics Canada says that increase is all in full-time work. At year end, the unemployment rate among this age group was 4.6 per cent for women and 4.8 per cent for men.

With files from The Canadian Press.

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