State of the Labour Market

May Labour Force Survey: Job Growth Took a Breather

Employment of prime-age workers saw an uptick

Job growth took a breather in May after an outsized jump in April. Employment ticked up, but the increase was within Statistics Canada’s margin-of-error. While there wasn’t much to write home about, it’s encouraging that the job market didn’t retreat after perhaps exaggerated earlier gains. Overall, the trend remains solid.

Boosting the May job numbers was an uptick in the prime-age employment rate (workers 25-54) in contrast to earlier this year, when youth were the notable strong point. While the employment rate of those under 25 fell back in May, it remains up from both the start of the year and where it was a year earlier. The trend over the past year has been particularly strong among 20- to 24-year-olds enrolled in school.

The job market has outpaced other Canadian economic data so far this year. With other indicators starting to perk up more recently, and the employment situation still chugging along, the Bank of Canada is likely to take this report as supportive of its neutral stance, notwithstanding uncertainty elsewhere in the global economy.   

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