Canadian economy loses jobs for 2nd straight month, unemployment remains at historic low

The Canadian economy has lost jobs for a second straight months. Senior Business Editor Mike Eppel with what could lie ahead for the labour market and interest rates.

By The Canadian Press and News Staff

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 4.9 per cent in July, remaining unchanged from the historic low reached in June.

The federal agency says in its latest labour force survey the economy lost 31,000 jobs, marking the second consecutive month of job losses.

The number of public sector employees fell, while the number of self-employed workers rose.

Canada’s labour market remains exceptionally tight, with over one million job vacancies across the country. The unemployment rate is the lowest on record with comparable data going back to 1976.

Statistics Canada says despite the labour shortage, there is no evidence of a rise in the proportion of people leaving or switching jobs. RBC economists were actually predicting the economy to add 15,000 jobs in July.

The pace of wage growth also held steady since June, with average hourly wages rising 5.2 per cent year over year.

The Bank of Canada will be paying attention to the latest labour force data as it prepares for its next rate decision in September, when it is expected to increase its benchmark interest rate once more.

US employers added 528,000 jobs; unemployment falls to 3.5%

America’s hiring boom continued last month as employers added a surprising 528,000 jobs despite raging inflation and rising anxiety about a recession.

July’s hiring was up from 398,000 in June. The unemployment rate slipped to 3.5%.

The U.S. economy shrank in the first two quarters of 2022 — an informal definition of recession. But most economists believe the strong jobs market has kept the economy from slipping into a downturn.

The American job market has repeatedly defied skeptics this year. Economists had expected only 250,000 new jobs this month.

With files from The Associated Press

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