Job market rebounds ahead of election call

Fri Sep 5, 2008 3:13pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Louise Egan

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's job market rebounded slightly in August from heavy job losses in July, easing fears of a sharper than expected economic downturn on the eve of a federal election campaign to be announced this weekend.

Employers resumed hiring last month, adding 15,200 to the payrolls on a full-time basis, mainly in the private sector, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

The gains came after 55,000 jobs evaporated in July, the biggest monthly loss since the 1991 recession. The report also showed less pressure on inflation from wage gains.

The unemployment rate in August remained unchanged at 6.1 percent.

The numbers are likely to be welcome news for the Bank of Canada, allowing it to stand pat on interest rates for some time and for Prime Minister Stephen Harper as he rallies his Conservative Party for an election campaign that is set to officially begin on Sunday for an October 14 vote.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, already in full campaign mode, credited Harper's leadership for fostering the job gains.

"Generally it was a little bit better than expected almost across the board and it takes away some of the sting from the very weak July report," said Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets

Still, there was no denying that the job market is softening, as employment gains so far this year are less than half those of the same period in 2007 and there was a net loss of 45,000 jobs in the three months to August.   Continued...