Downbeat Canada jobs, productivity data show economy struggling

Fri Jun 6, 2014 9:09am EDT
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(Reuters) - Downbeat Canadian jobs and productivity data released on Friday showed the economy is still struggling to recover fully despite a strengthening U.S. recovery.

Although Statistics Canada said the economy created a net 25,800 jobs in May, all of them were part-time. Full-time jobs dropped by 29,100, bringing the two-month loss to a round 60,000 positions.

Market analysts on average had forecast a gain of 25,000 jobs. The unemployment rate edged up to 7.0 percent from 6.9 percent in April as more people sought work.

The data confirm the Canadian jobs market has effectively slowed to a crawl over the last nine months.

"It's a labor market that's struggling under mounting fatigue," said David Tulk, chief Canada macro strategist at TD Securities, who noted "a lot of weakness in fulltime" jobs.

Part-time jobs rose by 54,900 in May.

The six-month moving average for employment growth edged up to 3,000 in May from 2,300 in April.

In the 12 months through May, only 85,500 jobs were created, the lowest year-over-year gain since the 75,700 increase in positions recorded in February 2010, when Canada was still mired in the fallout of the financial crisis.

"Certainly the headline number came basically right on expectations. However, one doesn't have to dig too far beneath the surface to discover that this report isn't all the headline is cracked up to be," said Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Market. "It's a bit soft under the surface."   Continued...

Exhibitors speak with visitors at the 2014 Spring National Job Fair and Training Expo in Toronto, April 3, 2014. REUTERS/Aaron Harris