Canadian jobs growth blows past expectations in final report before the election

A Suncor oil worker checks an oil tank at the Suncor tar sands operations near Fort McMurray, Alberta, September 17, 2014. In 1967 Suncor helped pioneer the commercial development of Canada's oil sands, one of the largest petroleum resource basins in the world. (REUTERS/Todd Korol)
A Suncor oil worker checks an oil tank at the Suncor tar sands operations near Fort McMurray, Alberta, September 17, 2014. (REUTERS/Todd Korol)

The Canadian job market added 53,700 jobs in September, most of which were full-time positions.

“Canada's labour market seems to have been vaccinated against the global economic flu going around,” said Avery Shenfeld, chief economist, CIBC in a research note.

The newest data from Statistics Canada easily surpassed economists’ expectations of 7,500 jobs.

Ontario was a key driver — adding 41,000 jobs, most of which were full-time.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.5 per cent.

“A jobless rate of only 5.5 per cent will cement the case for the Bank of Canada to remain on hold in October, but we continue to look ahead towards the global slowdown impacting Canadian data over the balance of the year,” said Shenfeld.

The overall Canadian prime age (25-54) employment rate is the highest since the agency started tracking the data in 1976.

Pay is also rising as hourly wage growth rose 4.3 per cent.

“Year-over-year, nominal wages have grown 4.0 per cent for men and 4.7 per cent for women. With the inflation rate hovering around 2.0 per cent, that means workers are seeing a real boost in their purchasing power,” Julia Pollak, labour economist at ZipRecruiter told Yahoo Finance Canada.

With only 10 days to go before the election, it’s the last jobs report before Canadians head to the polls.

“What we want to see is the labour market add jobs faster than the rate of population growth. This month’s record working-age employment rate suggests it’s doing just that,” Brendon Bernard, economist at Indeed Canada, told Yahoo Finance Canada.

“Progress is now also translating into improvement in previously lagging aspects of the labour market, like declining lengths of unemployment."

Despite strong gains in job growth, economic growth hasn’t necessarily kept pace.

“We would again point out that even with the rock-solid job growth of the past year, the broader economy has remained lacklustre — while jobs are up 2.4 per cent from a year ago, real GDP is ambling along at just 1.3 per cent year-over-year,” said Doug Porter, chief economist at the Bank of Montreal, in a research note.

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada.

Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

Yahoo Finance Canada
Yahoo Finance Canada

Download the Yahoo Finance app, available for Apple and Android.