Is job growth in Canada slowing?

The labour market saw its fourth straight month of gains, but economists say this acceleration may end soon

Is job growth in Canada slowing?

Canada saw its fourth consecutive month of labour market gains with the addition of 245,800 jobs in August, but economists are predicting that this trend might end soon since the economy is already as open as it could be.

“This is about as good as its going to get for the Canadian labour market this year,” said Simon Harvey, an analyst at Monex Europe Ltd. “This is the last kind of big labour market employment gain we’re going to see.”

In a phone interview with BNN Bloomberg, Harvey said that jobs numbers in the coming months will be more “representative of the level of scarring that there’s been from the pandemic.”

The August growth had 205,800 new full-time jobs and 40,000 part-time posts. The number of Canadian employees with less than half of their usual working hours has shrunk to 713,000, from the 2.5 million peak in April.

By province, Ontario had the most gains last month at 142,000 new jobs, largely due to the recent reopening of Toronto.

The national unemployment rate stood at 10.2%, from 10.9% in July. This matched with economists’ earlier forecast of a 10.2% rate, along with a 250,000 labour market gain, in August.

Canada has now recovered around 1.9 million of the jobs lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which reached a peak of 3 million losses in March and April.