CANADA: August saw surge in youth employment

People in downtown Toronto in January 2019. Steve Russell  Toronto Star

The labour force jumped by 91,300 in August, more than half of which were youth.

While B.C.'s performance lagged in August, Canada as a whole added 81,100 jobs, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.7%. There were also smaller increases seen in Manitoba, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan.

The local job market continues to shatter records, with the jobless rate dropping last month to the lowest this century.

With this influx in jobs, students aged 20 to 24 actually saw an employment rate increase of 3.4 percent over the summer. It also reported that the employment rate - which measures the number of people with jobs as a percentage of the population that is 15 years of age or older - went up in August.

Why it matters: It's the third straight month of job losses for B.C. Canada has now added 471,300 jobs over the past 12 months, the most in a year since 2003.

Overall, the month of August saw a boom that wasn't to be expected.

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All of this is good news. As mentioned earlier, part of the reason this growth is so substantial compared to 2018 is because of prior stagnation in various industries.

CIBC Chief Economist Avery Shenfeld wrote in a note to clients Friday that if the Bank of Canada was on the fence about cutting interest rates next month, this report should shove them in the direction of standing pat for now.

However, other experts are less optimistic, citing contradictory indicators such as the ongoing trade war and the slow recovery from the last recession.

The loonie strengthened to a 2-year high of 1.4540 against the euro and more than a 5-week high of 1.3160 against the greenback, off its previous lows of 1.4613 and 1.3244, respectively.

"First of all there's the Trade War with China, and we're collateral damage in that and we've had the longest recovery in our history, and in American history".

The reading, one of several wage measures watched by the Bank of Canada, was 3.8 per cent in June and 2.8 per cent in May.

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