Jobless rate inches down to 6.8% in June despite economy adding no new jobs

Canada's job market was effectively flat in June but the jobless rate inched down to 6.8 per cent because there were fewer people looking for work.
Canada's economy added effectively no new jobs in June, Statistics Canada reported Friday. (Bloomberg)

Canada's job market was effectively flat in June but the jobless rate inched down to 6.8 per cent because there were fewer people looking for work.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that the economy lost 700 jobs in June. In a workforce of more than 18 million workers, the data agency considers a move that small to be "unchanged."

"What is a soft headline figure that posted no job growth is even softer on the details," Scotiabank economists Dov Ziegler and Derek Holt said after the numbers came out.

"The unemployment rate fell despite no job creation because about 21,000 job seekers dropped out of the workforce, which of course is not a good way by which the unemployment rate can decline."

British Columbia was the only province that added jobs during the month. The other provinces showed little change.

The numbers painted a gloomy picture of the summer job market for students, too. According to Statistics Canada's numbers, among students aged 20 to 24 who intend to return to school full time in the fall, the employment rate was 64 per cent in June.

That's 3.2 percentage points lower than the summer job rate was a year ago. 

The overall jobless rate, at 6.8 per cent, is now at its lowest level in almost a year, but economists saw little reason for celebration.

"The weak details reinforce the view that Canada's job market is struggling to stay above the waterline, almost everywhere except British Columbia," Doug Porter at Bank of Montreal said.

About the Author

Pete Evans

Senior Writer, CBCNews.ca

Pete Evans is the senior business writer for CBCNews.ca. Prior to coming to the CBC, he had stints at Report on Business, the Financial Post, the Toronto Star, Canadian Business Magazine and elsewhere. Twitter: @p_evans Email: pete.evans@cbc.ca Secure PGP: https://secure.cbc.ca/public-key/Pete-Evans-pub.asc

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