May 9, 2014 3:44 pm

Job and wage growth are stalling across Canada

Construction is one of the few areas that saw jobs increase last month.

Canadian Press

Roughly 29,000 jobs were lost across the country in April, Statistics Canada said Friday—a dismal reading on employment that confirms what many experts have had a hunch about for some time: job creation is crawling to a stop.

“There is little doubt that underlying employment growth is moderating,” Doug Porter, chief economist at Bank of Montreal said following the release of the monthly jobs report.

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April’s reading was the third month in the past five that jobs have dipped and was a major miss on expectations.

READ MORE: Economy hit by loss of 28,900 jobs

Economy watchers had been calling for a gain of 13,500 jobs last month while the decline was led by the loss of 31,000 full-time positions, which were offset by the addition of 2,000 part-time jobs.

Wage gains have also cooled substantially, with growth in average pay slowing to 1.7 per cent compared to average pay a year earlier—a meagre two tenths of a percentage point above the cost of living (inflation is tracking at 1.5 per cent).

“There was little to like in the April employment numbers, with relatively broadly-based weakness on an industry basis, a large drop in full-time employment, and slowing wage growth all disappointing,” RBC economist Nathan Janzen said.

The unemployment rate remained at 6.9 per cent but that was only because fewer people looked for work.

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Regionally, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Ontario recorded “modest” advances in the month, TD economists said, while every other provinces saw a combined net decrease in jobs.

April’s reading means five of the country’s 10 provinces have added exactly zero jobs over the past year and a few have seen big losses, according to BMO economist Robert Kavcic.

READ MORE: Migration to Alberta is exploding

In fact, if one excludes Alberta and Saskatchewan—where resource development has created hot labour markets once again—employment across the rest of Canada is “virtually unchanged” since the end of 2012.

“Outside of Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canadian job creation is almost nonexistent,” Kavcic said.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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