Canada posts massive jobs gain; employment back to pre-pandemic levels

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OTTAWA, Oct 8 (Businesshala) – Canada’s economy posted a monstrous jobs gain in September, pushing employment back to its pre-pandemic levels, and the unemployment rate hitting an 18-month low, statistics Canada’s data indicated Friday.

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Analysts said the data showed the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic was accelerating, but predicted the Bank of Canada would like to see continued evidence of strength before taking a more aggressive stance on the timing of interest rate hikes.

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Statistics Canada recorded a net profit of 157,100 new jobs, all in full-time employment. The unemployment rate fell to 6.9%, the lowest level since February 2020.

Analysts polled by Businesshala had forecast the country would add 65,000 new jobs in September and that its unemployment rate would fall to 6.9% from 7.1% in August.

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Statscan said Canada has now returned to employment levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic that began last year, having recovered 3 million jobs lost during the crisis.

“It’s very solid and shows Canada is doing well in that fourth wave,” said Jimmy Jean, chief economist at Desjardins Group, adding that the central bank could announce later in October that it would further reduce its quantitative easing program. Used to be.

All job gains came in full-time employment, which recorded an increase of 193,600 new jobs, and was split equally between the public and private sectors. The economy shed 36,500 part-time positions.

The Bank of Canada last year slashed interest rates to a record low of 0.25% and said it would not consider raising them again until the economy absorbs additional sluggishness, which is expected to happen in the second half of 2022. are supposed to.

Due to population growth, there are still 276,000 more people unemployed than in February 2020.

“The Bank of Canada still wants to see further improvements from here on because their goal is not just to go back to pre-pandemic jobs numbers, it (is) to go back to pre-pandemic employment population ratios,” said TD Securities Chief Canada Strategist Andrew Calvin said.

The Canadian dollar touched its strongest level since August 11 at 1.2490 per greenback, or 80.06 US cents, up 0.5% on the day. Separately, the data shows that US employment grew much less than expected in September.

Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets, said the number of hours worked increased by 1.1%, but remained 1.5% below their pre-pandemic levels.

“Although the headline print seals the deal for another tender from the Bank of Canada later this month, there is still a way to completely fix the labor market,” he said in a note.

Additional reporting by Steve Scherer in Ottawa and Fergal Smith and Mya Keedan in Toronto; Editing by Alison Williams, Chizu Nomiyama and Paul Simao

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