Canada added 10,000 jobs in November, pushing jobless rate down to 5.1%

Canada's economy added 10,000 jobs last month, in line with what economists were expecting, and enough to push the jobless rate down to 5.1 per cent.

Quebec added 28,000 jobs but that hiring surge was offset by losses elsewhere

Canada’s falling jobless rate signals economy still running hot

2 months ago
Duration 2:00
Canada’s jobless rate fell to 5.1 per cent in November, with the Bank of Canada likely viewing the labour market as still too hot for comfort.

Canada's economy added 10,000 jobs last month, in line with what economists were expecting, and enough to push the jobless rate down to 5.1 per cent.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that several industries added jobs, including finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, and manufacturing, as well as in information, culture and recreation.

"At the same time, it fell in several industries, including construction, and wholesale and retail trade," the data agency said.

The picture was similarly up and down by region, as Quebec added more than 28,000 jobs, but that surge was offset by declines in five provinces, including Alberta and British Columbia.

On the upside, the economy added 50,700 full-time positions during the month. That was offset by a loss of 40,600 part-time roles.

Wages increased at a 5.6 per cent annual rate, the same pace of gain seen the previous month. The typical hourly rate of a worker came in at $32.11 during the month. That's up by $1.71 over the past year, but with the official inflation rate at 6.9 per cent, that means workers are still not keeping up with increases in their cost of living.

More jobs, but more sick workers, too

More Canadians were working during the month, but the data agency reported that a large number of them were unable to work for part of the month due to illness.

"In the context of elevated cases of influenza and other respiratory viruses in many parts of the country, 6.8 per cent of employees were absent due to illness or disability during the November reference week," Statscan said. 

November is typically a busy month for calling in sick even when there isn't a pandemic happening, but prior to 2020, the typical November would see about 5.8 per cent of workers call in sick during the month.

That ratio peaked at 10 per cent in January of 2022, when the Omicron variant of COVID-19 hit Canada at full force.

Economist Royce Mendes with Desjardins says the surge in sick calls is worth keeping an eye on.

"The number of Canadians catching colds, flus and other respiratory viruses was elevated during the month, a theme that could continue throughout the winter," he said.

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