TORONTO (Reuters) - Jobs growth in Canada likely increased to near the average of the past 12 months in November, a Reuters poll showed, with goods-producing industries seen recovering from a slump.
The economy is expected to have added 10,000 jobs in the month, according to the median forecast of 24 economists polled by Reuters, up from 1,800 new hires in October, but far below the oversized gains of several previous months. The unemployment rate is seen steady at 7.4 percent.
Jimmy Jean, an economic strategist at Desjardins in Montreal, said the jobs number would likely rebound “but that payback is not expected to be as strong as it would otherwise have been given the number of headwinds the economy is facing right now,” in reference to weak economic growth data and subdued corporate hiring intention surveys.
With Canada’s monthly jobs data producing some erratic figures recently, some economists have focused more on rolling employment growth over the past 12 months, which has hovered around 200,000 for the year with a monthly average of almost 17,000.
“We’ve seen a slowing in that trend measure, but we’re still at pretty solid levels in terms of employment growth,” said Dawn Desjardins, assistant chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada, which forecasts 14,000 jobs were created in November. “To my mind that does suggest that the employment situation in Canada is still very healthy.”
In the Reuters survey, the most positive forecast was for a gain of 35,000 jobs, while the most pessimistic saw a loss of 12,000.
The small 1,800-jobs gain in October, reflecting sluggish economic growth, came after two months of strong hiring.
There was a loss of jobs in the goods-producing sector in October, but RBC’s Desjardins expects that will reverse in November as workers returned to the oil and gas sector after a string of maintenance shutdowns.
Construction gains are likely to have been relatively flat as housing activity slowed, she said, and a strong run of jobs growth in the service sector is likely to have subsided.
Desjardins’ Jean also said manufacturing jobs were likely challenged by export weakness and that retail could also come under pressure.
Polling by Teresa Ruiz; Editing by Peter Galloway and Leslie Gevirtz