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Canada jobs rise, unemployment lowest since 2008

By Randall Palmer  |  Fri, Aug 5 2011

Source article link :     http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/05/canada-economy-jobs-idUSN1E77404O20110805


* Unemployment rate falls to 7.2 pct from 7.4 pct in June
* 7,100 jobs added, shift to full time and private sector
* 28,600 people drop out of labor force
* Jobless rate had peaked at 8.7 pct in August 2009
* C$ briefly strengthens on the data
(Adds details on wage inflation, market reaction)

OTTAWA, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Canada´s unemployment rate fell
to 7.2 percent in July, its lowest since December 2008, from
7.4 percent in June, though this was due more to people
dropping out of the labor market than to job creation.

Statistics Canada said on Friday the economy managed to eke
out 7,100 new jobs while holding on to the 28,400 jobs that
were picked up in June.

The increase was less than half that expected in a Reuters
survey of analysts but was marked by a healthy switch to
full-time and private-sector employment.

"Looking beyond the so-so headline, almost every detail in
the report is quite strong. We saw solid full-time gains, the
private sector accounted for all the job gains and surprisingly
the unemployment rate fell," BMO Capital Markets deputy chief
economist Douglas Porter said.

"Overall, I would actually characterize this as good news,
even though the headline employment number was a bit below
consensus. I think the details are unambiguously better than
the headline would suggest."

The median forecast in a Reuters survey of analysts was for
15,000 new jobs and a 7.4 percent unemployment rate. July saw
25,500 new full-time positions while 18,400 part-time ones were
lost.

The Canadian dollar briefly rose as high as
C$0.9801 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0203, immediately after the
data. But it resumed its weakening trend as global equity
markets and many commodity prices tumbled for a second day.

The currency had closed at C$0.9795 versus the U.S. dollar,
or $1.0209, on Thursday.

Key to the unemployment rate decline was that 28,600 people
dropped out of the labor force.

The jobless rate had peaked at 8.7 percent in August 2009
and now stands approximately two percentage points lower than
that in the United States.

Despite the strong Canadian dollar, employment in
manufacturing edged up by 10,100 and stood 22,000 higher than
the depressed levels of a year earlier. Construction,
transportation, warehousing and retail and wholesale all posted
gains in the month; health and education registered losses.

The annual increase in hourly average wages of permanent
employees, closely watched by the Bank of Canada for signs of
inflationary pressure, fell to 1.2 percent in July from 2.0
percent in June.

The numbers, which provide the first glimpse in.to Canada´s third quarter, are closely watched by the central bank. The Bank of Canada hiked interest rates three times last year, but paused in September due to global economic uncertainty.

The central bank was widely expected to resume its rate
hike campaign this year. But the financial market turmoil of
recent days has clouded the outlook.

Overnight index swaps, which trade based on expectations
for the bank´s key policy rate, show traders are now pricing in
the prospect of rate cuts later this year.

Analysts said the near-term movement in markets may have a
bigger influence on what the Bank of Canada does next than the
most recent jobs data.

"Unfortunately, things have changed a lot in recent times
so the market reaction (to the data) is very muted. At least
before this recent bout hit you could say things were in decent
shape," said Mark Chandler, head of Canadian fixed income and
currency strategy at RBC Capital Markets.

"The Bank of Canada is doing what we´re all doing --
watching equity markets. They´re firmly going to do nothing at
the moment and wait to see how this develops."

(Additional reporting by Euan Rocha, Claire Sibonney and Ka
Yan Ng in Toronto; Additional writing by Jeffrey Hodgson;
Editing by James Dalgleish)







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