State of the Labour Market

November Labour Force Survey: Employment Tumbles


The Canadian job market has lost momentum heading into 2020.

The jobs numbers have been outpacing other measures of economic activity throughout the year, so we’ve been waiting to see if they’d come back to earth. However, rather than a gradual slowdown, employment fell with a thud in November, the largest monthly drop since the Great Recession. The sources of the drop were also discouraging, with private sector employees posting the largest decline. Goods-producing industries like manufacturing and natural resources, which were already softening in recent months, took another hit, but this time were joined by a drop in services. 

Overall, this was definitely not the way we wanted to see the Canadian labour market end the year. On a year-over-year basis, the November decline knocked job growth down from its above-population growth pace, from 2.4% to 1.6%. We know the jobs numbers have their monthly ups and downs but the question now is where do we go from here?

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