July 7, 2014 3:32 pm
Updated: July 7, 2014 3:44 pm

What to expect from StatsCan’s June jobs numbers? More part-time work

If you find yourself stuck in an accidental part-time job, it could be more to do with the economy than your credentials.

File / Global News

If you find yourself stuck in an accidental part-time job, it could have more to do with the economy than your credentials.

Statistics Canada is slated to released jobs numbers for June on Friday. While the consensus is that companies have broken somewhat out of a hiring slump this year to add at least 25,000 jobs to payrolls last month, if the trends of late hold, many – if not most – of those gains may well be in the form of part-time work.

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In the 12 months up to May, the number of working Canadians expanded by just 86,000, or 0.5 per cent, according to Statistics Canada – but more troublingly, all those gains were in part time.

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

Indeed, BMO economists suggest there will be a pop in the headline number on Friday, calling for StatsCan to report job gains of a relatively impressive 35,000. But much of the gain will be located in Ontario and related to temporary positions tied to last month’s election in that province, the bank’s economics department predicts.

“A similar situation in 2007 boosted Ontario public sector jobs by over 20,000—two-thirds of which were lost in the following month,” BMO economist Benjamin Reitzes said Monday.

In the previous reading in May, the economy added 28,900 jobs, according to StatsCan, but “driven by gains in part-time work” as well. While 55,000 part-time jobs were being added by employers, they were quietly shedding 29,100 full-time jobs.

The trend was the same in April.

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

With its energy sector on fire, Alberta, is seems, is the only province actually posting growth in full-time jobs at the moment.

READ MORE: Alberta is hogging all the good jobs

US rebound?

But the outsized expansion of part-time work isn’t isolated to Canada. Last week’s much-celebrated jobs report from the U.S. Labor Department showed 288,000 positions were added to the world’s biggest economy, lifting stock markets to fresh highs.

But buried in the numbers was the fact that 275,000 of those positions were part time jobs – the vast majority.

As for causes for this shift, VentureBeat’s Gregory Ferenstein details here how technology is playing a pivotal role in the U.S. labour market.

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