BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

September 06, 2013 10:32 ET

Canadian Jobs Rollercoaster Rises in August-BMO Economics

- Six provinces see increases, led by Ontario and Alberta

- Part-time jobs jump by nearly 42,000

- BMO survey: Canadian workforce increasingly optimistic about hiring intentions and job security

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 6, 2013) - August's Canadian employment figures showed impressive gains and sweep aside July's temporary weakness, according to BMO Economics.

"Canadian employment jumped 59,200 in August, fully reversing the outsized 39,400 drop the prior month," said Doug Porter, Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "While most of the details were a bit less flashy than the flashy headline, the figures are still positive. Full-time jobs rose a moderate 17,400, while part-time jobs bounced 41,800. The unemployment rate edged down a tick to 7.1 per cent - again reversing the prior month's move - and leaves the jobless rate below last year's August figure of 7.3 per cent."

Mr. Porter noted that these results will not have much impact on the Bank of Canada's outlook, as the labour market has barely tightened in the past year and wage trends remain incredibly mild. "However, no question it's a nice boost for the Canadian dollar, especially when stacked against the disappointing U.S. jobs tally."

Regionally, fully six provinces saw job increases last month, led by Ontario's increase of 43,600 jobs and Alberta's rise of 15,200 jobs. Quebec declined slightly despite a rise in health care jobs.

Among industries, health care & social services roared back after a poor July with a 59,500 surge -accounting pretty much alone for the wild job swings of the past two months. Other areas of strength included info, culture & recreation (up 33,000), hotels & restaurants (up 25,500) and construction (up 17,700). Manufacturing also saw a small add of 5,700 jobs, although payrolls there are still down 3 per cent year over year. Education was a notable soft spot - falling 22,000 - although this sector has widely reported issues with seasonal adjustment during the summer months.

Hiring Intentions

According to the BMO Labour Day survey, the Canadian workforce has grown increasingly optimistic about hiring intentions and job security. The study found that more than 53 per cent of Canadians think that the company they work for is growing and will be hiring more employees. This number represents a marked increase from 28 per cent in 2011.

"This increasing optimism among Canadian workers is very encouraging and is an accurate reflection of what we're hearing when speaking to our clients," said Steve Murphy, Senior Vice-President, BMO Commercial Banking. "With companies planning to invest in their employees and grow their workforce, new doors will open for expansion into new markets."

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