Immigration will weigh on the Bank of Canada's view of inflation: economist

The Canadian labour market also remains robust

Immigration will weigh on the Bank of Canada's view of inflation: economist

Robust immigration levels will have a marked influence the Bank of Canada’s view of upcoming labour market data – and how that data will affect inflation in turn, Conference Board of Canada chief economist Pedro Antunes said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg.

“We’re adding to the supply of labour with the strong immigration numbers, and that is helping to slacken the labour market,” Antunes said. “I think the Bank of Canada is very aware of that.”

At the same time, other factors indicating sustained economic strength will make the central bank’s job more complicated.

“When you see 3% population growth and wages and employment still rising, that generates fairly substantial underlying strength in consumer spending, so it’s hard for the Bank of Canada to slow the economy with that kind of momentum,” Antunes said.

Canadian jobs market remains robust

August saw the addition of 40,000 jobs to the Canadian economy, while the unemployment rate was steady at 5.5%, Statistics Canada reported.

This followed a drop of 43,100 (representing a 5.8% decline) in job vacancies the month prior. The report noted that the July level of 701,300 was the lowest number of vacancies since May 2021 (673,400).

“The job vacancy rate – which corresponds to the number of vacant positions as a proportion of total labour demand (the sum of filled and unfilled positions) – decreased by 0.3 percentage points to 3.9% in July, a rate not seen since February 2021,” StatCan said.

Job vacancies decreased most noticeably in the retail trade (-10,800; -12.8%), accommodation and food services (-10,400; -11.6%), educational services (-4,500; -18.6%), management of companies and enterprises (-1,600; -42.3%), and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (-1,600; -16.9%) sectors, StatCan added.