As growth in full-time work stalls, ‘lower quality’ jobs on the rise

Growth in full-time positions has been weak over the past year, while part-time work has swelled. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

With the exception of Alberta, job creation in Canada has been lacklustre at best in recent months.

In April, roughly 29,000 jobs were lost across the country, according to Statistics Canada —a dismal reading on employment that seems to confirm what many experts have had a hunch about: job growth is stalling.

“There is little doubt that underlying employment growth is moderating,” Doug Porter, the chief economist at Bank of Montreal said following the May 9 release of the monthly jobs report.

READ MORE: Job and wage growth are stalling across Canada

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But more worrisome perhaps is the quality of the jobs being lost compared to the ones being created.

According to David Madani, an economist at Capital Economics in Toronto, jobs gained over the past year have been at the low end of the pay scale and in part-time work, while growth among higher paying full-time jobs has stagnated.

“Over the past 12 months, employment gains have been more concentrated in lower paying industries where average weekly earnings are below average,” Madani pointed out in a research note from late April.

“Should this poor jobs quality trend persist, then any pick-up in wages and salaries growth … is likely to be fairly modest.”

Well, it’s persisted. Thirty one thousand full-time jobs were lost last month, while the ranks of part-time workers rose by 2,000. Self employment numbers jumped as well.

“The rising trend of part-time employment versus full-time suggests that the quality of recent job gains is worsening,” Madani said Thursday.

The ranks of part-time workers have been climbing since last spring– around the same time full-time positions began falling. (Capital Economics).

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