OTTAWA — There were 18,600 fewer people working in this country last month, Statistics Canada said Friday, despite expectations from economists that the job market would grow by 20,000 people.
The unemployment rate for November was 7.4%, up from 7.3% a month earlier.
It was the second straight month of job losses for Canada, which saw 54,000 people leave the ranks of the employed in October.
BMO Capital Markets economist Robert Kavcic pointed out that, since the middle of this year, there have been average employment losses of about 2,000 people per month, “so there’s no question that employment growth has cooled sharply.”
Still, Kavcic noted that some of the details of the November job numbers “weren’t as bad as the headline, but certainly nothing to smile about.”
For example, there was a decline of 53,000 part-time workers last month but 35,000 more people finding full-time work.
As well, there were 11,000 more people working in the private sector last month, but that wasn’t enough to make up for the 2,200 decline in public-sector workers and 27,500 fewer people considering themselves self-employed.
CIBC World Markets chief economist Avery Shenfeld also said there were some bright spots in the details of the report, though it was still indicative of a tough job market.
“Overall, while there was at least some encouraging news in the lean back towards full-time work, the overall picture is one of a continued softening in Canada’s jobs market, suggesting a slowing in economic growth after a brisk third quarter,” Shenfeld said.
This report comes after data earlier this week showed Canada’s economy grew at a faster-than-expected annualized pace of 3.5% in the three months ended in September.
There were job losses in industries such as retail and wholesale trade in November, as well as support services for business and building management. Gains were seen in areas such as personal services, construction, natural resources and utilities.
Looking more broadly, there were 43,900 fewer people in service sectors in November, with 25,200 more in goods-producing sectors.
By province, Statistics Canada highlighted employment declines of 30,500 in Quebec and 4,200 in Saskatchewan, though Nova Scotia had a relatively strong gain of 4,400