Canada lost 24,200 jobs last month and its unemployment rate moved up to 5.7 per cent to give the economy its weakest three-month stretch of job creation since early 2018, according to Statistics Canada.
On the positive side, July’s wage growth came in strong at 4.5 per cent — which was its highest level in more than a decade.
The agency’s latest labour force survey found that job creation was nearly flat between May and July, a period that saw Canada add an average of 400 jobs per month.
The economy had a been on a healthy run of employment gains that began last summer.
Even with the July decline, compared to a year earlier, the numbers show Canada added a healthy dose of 353,000 new positions _ almost all of which were full time.
Year-over-year average hourly wage growth for all employees was 4.5 per cent in July, the indicator’s strongest month since January 2009.
Senior RBC Economist Nathan Janzen said in a statement sent to Global News that the employment dip was not surprising.
“Outsized growth in prior months has for some time looked out-of-step with other measures of economic growth like GDP,” he wrote.
The uptick in the unemployment rate to 5.7 per cent is “a bit more surprising,” he continues.
He warns that major banks fully expect employment growth to be softer over the second half of this year than it was over the first.