CDI Corporation

Canada employment reaches 18 million for first time

Employment in Canada had a strong showing in October, exceeding the predictions of economists.

The Financial Post reported that more than 44,000 jobs were added in the month, carrying the total number of employed in the country to more than 18 million for the first time. The unemployment rate also fell slightly, from 7.1 percent to 7 percent.

This is the first major change in job gains since the high of nearly 60,000 jobs added in May, with employment only growing by 12,000 in August and September, respectively, and by 6,400 in June. Economists in a Bloomberg News survey had predicted only 10,000 jobs would be added in October.

Some of the job growth was attributed to polling and other activities related to the federal election in October, with Statistics Canada finding that 32,000 jobs were added in public administration.

Employment was up in other sectors as well. Employment in wholesale and retail trade grew by 18,000, and jobs in accommodation and food services grew by 13,000. Health care and social assistance employment grew by 7.5 percent in the month, and also registered the greatest change since October of last year.

Public sector employment grew by 31,000, a 2.7 percent change from October 2014. Private sector employment grew by 41,000.

“The economy looks to be grinding along at a pace just fast enough to absorb population growth and keep the unemployment rate pegged at around 7% for now,” said chief economist at BMO Financial Group, Doug Porter, in a note to investors. “That’s likely enough to keep the Bank of Canada on hold for the foreseeable future.”

The job gains are helping the Canadian economy bounce back from a recession and recover from hits to its manufacturing and oil sectors.