Briefing

Canada’s 2019 employment numbers show second-best job gains since 2007

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Employment rose by 320,000 last year, up 1.7 per cent, according to Statistics Canada’s latest Labour Force Survey. The country added 35,200 net jobs in December 2019 and the unemployment rate fell to 5.6 per cent, down 0.3 percentage points from November. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The 2019 job gains haven’t been spread out evenly. StatCan said Ontario’s year-over-year employment growth in December 2019—243,000 jobs, or 3.3 per cent—was the largest since 1987, with a significant portion of that increase coming in professional, scientific and technical services. That sector—which includes many innovation-economy firms—showed the largest gains in services. But the numbers didn’t move much in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. December’s increases compared to the previous month were driven by private-sector hiring, with employment rising by 57,000. That’s a positive sign, tweeted Brendon Bernard, an economist at the job platform Indeed Canada, because “gains in public sector [and] self-employment tend to be fleeting.”