Hiring among private sector employers surged in September as the Canadian economy posted a gain of 74,000 jobs, “nearly all in full-time work,” according to Statistics Canada.
The much better-than-expected reading pushed the unemployment rate down two tenths of a percentage point to 6.8 per cent — its lowest level in nearly six years, or December 2008.
Economists and other experts were calling for a far more modest gain of about 20,000 jobs, anticipating the jobless rate to hold at 7 per cent, where’s been stuck for more than a year.
The September reading “trounced the street’s expected advance,” Nick Exarhos at CIBC World Markets said.
The gain was led by private sector growth, with payrolls among private employers swelling by 124,000 positions. The number of people who reported themselves as self-employed dropped by 56,000, helping to reverse the previous month’s surprise burst of 87,000 self-employed workers.
The biggest surprise however was the surge in full-time hiring, which saw 69,300 FT positions added to the economy, restoring many of the full-time positions that had been steadily lost throughout what’s been until now a lacklustre year for job growth.
The balance of new jobs this year has been among part-time positions, but September’s reading brings the the pace of new job growth between full- and part-time work more in line with one another.
The far bigger gain may add fuel to the fire for experts increasingly questioning the accuracy of the monthly jobs reading from the federal agency.
“All told, a strong report,” Exharos said of the September reading, but added that “the volatility in the detail gives us pause.”
Economist have noted the “ever-volatile” nature of the report of late, said Bank of Montreal’s Benjamin Reitzes.
Statistics Canada was forced to re-report its July figures after disclosing an error had occurred in its methodology.
Here’s a breakdown of where jobs were gained (or lost) by province last month, and how the unemployment rate was affected: