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Canada shed jobs in October while wages grew


Canada’s job market shed 1,800 jobs in October. Economists expected an increase of 15,000.

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate remains unchanged at 5.5 per cent.

The bright spot in the data is that average hourly wages rose 4.4 per cent, but CIBC economist Royce Mendes has reservations.

“We, however, don't put too much stock in the above-4 per cent wage reading, given that it's coming off of a strangely slow year last year and tends to be very volatile,” he said in a note.

“Overall, employment is still up 2.4 per cent year-over-year, but that's come in contrast to much softer GDP and hours worked data.”

Mendes says he expects the job market to weaken further — eventually leading to the Bank of Canada cutting interest rates.

Stephen Brown, senior Canada economist at Capital Markets, says the lost jobs aren’t a huge concern, but weakness in manufacturing is something to keep an eye on.

“Weak global demand seems to be catching up with Canada, as manufacturing employment slumped by 23,000,” he said in a note.

Most of those manufacturing jobs lost were in Ontario, where employment was weakest in October — losing 16,000 jobs overall.

Employment grew in British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

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