UPDATE 1-Canada jobs data diverge but point to slower hiring

Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:32pm EDT
 
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* May nonfarm payrolls rise by 8,500
    * Results contrast with 95,000 gain shown in main jobs
report
    * Both reports show job growth slowing
    * Payrolls report might be better guide but is released late


    OTTAWA, July 25 (Reuters) - There's a huge discrepancy in
two sets of government figures on growth in Canada's labor
market in May, but both point to a slower pace of hiring that
could signal bumps on the economic road ahead.
    Statistics Canada said on Thursday that nonfarm payrolls
were up 8,500 in May. That is less than one tenth the number of
jobs that the agency's Labour Market Survey, released in early
June, said were created in the same month.
    Statscan analyst Emmanuelle Bourbeau said there are many
differences in the way the two reports measure the jobs market,
but there is at least one similarity in the results: "Employment
growth is slowing down in both surveys," she said. 
    The Labour Force Survey, Canada's most timely employment
report, showed a gain of 95,000 jobs in May, a huge figure that
shocked markets. The increase would be roughly equivalent to the
creation of 850,000 jobs in the far bigger U.S. market.
    But the June survey, released on July 5, showed Canada shed
400 jobs.
    Canada's economy has long recovered from the 2008-09
recession but the unemployment rate remains about a percentage
point higher than it was before the crisis.
    Bourbeau noted that the Labour Force Survey reflects the
moment that people are hired, while the payrolls number focuses
on when they actually get on a payroll, often a few weeks later.
    The frequently revised payrolls census also excludes the
self-employed, religious organizations and private household
services, while the labor force survey excludes residents of
native reserves and institutions, and much of northern Canada.
    BMO Capital Markets senior economist Sal Guatieri noted that
a big gap can open up between the two surveys. The survey
released on Thursday is likely more reliable, but because it
comes out six weeks later, people pay much less attention to it.
    "We always thought the establishment survey is a better
guide to job growth because it measures who's actually being
paid," he said. "Bottom line is job growth has slowed, but it
will probably pick up very slightly going forward." 
    Year on year in May, the payrolls survey showed employment
grew 0.8 percent, while the Labour Force Survey showed a 1.4
percent gain. This is down from December readings of 1.6 percent
and 1.8 percent respectively.
    Excluding the self-employed from the Labour Force Survey
yields these results, which also point to slower jobs growth:   
        
                        Average monthly     Average monthly
                        job gain May        job gain Nov
                        2012-Nov 2012       2012-May 2013
 Labour Force Survey    24,900              10,900
 Survey of Employment,  16,800               2,800
 Payrolls and Hours