Jan 05, 2024

By Angus Gillespie

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Statistics Canada has released figures that indicate the total number of jobs in December was virtually unchanged as the unemployment rate held steady at 5.8%.

The agency says the economy added a total of 100 jobs for the final month of the year.

Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter says prior to December, job gains had remained amazingly sturdy in the face of weak GDP growth.

Wage increases for permanent employees accelerated to 5.7% over the prior year, higher than expectations for a 5.4% rise, and up from 5% a month earlier. That’s the strongest pace since January 2021.

The report indicates a cooling in economic growth, primarily due to higher borrowing costs. This climate could present an opening for the Bank of Canada to consider lowering it’s key overnight interest rate in the coming months. However, wage growth remains an inflation risk if higher rates persist.

Meanwhile, south of the border the U.S. added a robust 216,000 jobs for the month of December.

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