Jobless rate drops
OTTAWA, Ont.—The unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 percent in September—its lowest level since 2008—as fewer young people looked for work, Statistics Canada said today.
The improvement in the unemployment rate from 7.1 percent in August came as the economy added 11,900 new jobs for the month—just ahead of the 10,000 that had been expected by economists.
Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter said that, in general, the details of the report were stronger than the overall numbers would suggest.
“The private sector, in particular, saw very strong job growth and maybe, most notably, we actually had another notable decline in the unemployment rate and finally we’re below seven percent,” he remarked.
The number of private-sector employees was up 74,000, but that was offset by a drop of 45,000 in the number of self-employed.
But Porter said the results would do little to change the bank’s outlook for growth in the third quarter at a two percent pace.
“I think we’ll see respectable growth, but nothing special,” he said.
Last week, the Bank of Canada lowered its forecasts for economic growth in the second half of 2013 and possibly for next year.
Senior deputy governor Tiff Macklem said the third quarter likely will show the economy grew at a pace of 2.0-2.5 percent compared with an earlier forecast for a pace of 3.8 percent.
The unemployment rate in Ontario fell 0.2 percentage points to 7.3 percent while Quebec’s unemployment rate slipped 0.3 percentage points to 7.6 percent as fewer young people looked for work.
Erin Weir, an economist at the United Steelworkers, said that trend in fewer young people searching for work is troubling as 21,000 young Canadians dropped out of the job market.
“I think today’s report confirms the basic narrative, which is that Canada’s economy is creating jobs but barely enough jobs to keep pace with growth in our working age population,” he said.
However, Weir said the shift from part-time jobs to full-time employment, and the move from self-employment to employer-paid positions, were promising.
The number of full-time jobs increased 23,400 while part-time employment fell by 11,500.