OTTAWA — Canada’s unemployment rate fell to a new record low 4.9% in June, beating expectations, even as the economy posted a surprise decline in jobs, while wages accelerated sharply, official data showed on Friday.
The Canadian economy lost 43,200 jobs in June, mostly among older workers, missing expectations of a job gain, Statistics Canada data showed. The unemployment rate, which beat analyst forecasts that it would remain at 5.1%, was the lowest on record, as fewer Canadians searched for work.
The average hourly wage of permanent employees jumped 5.6% year-over-year in June, well above May’s gain of 4.5% and the largest acceleration on record outside of the pandemic, when massive job losses among lower-paid workers skewed the numbers.
Goods sector jobs rose by a net 32,500, led by manufacturing and construction, while services sector jobs plunged by a net 75,700, mostly in retail trade.
“Data over the coming months will shed light on whether employment in this industry might be impacted by any changing consumer behaviors associated with inflation,” Statscan said.
Canadian inflation is running at a near 40-year high. June’s job losses were mostly in part-time work and mostly among workers over 55, Statscan said. The number of self-employed also fell sharply. (Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa, additional reporting by Ismail Shakil, editing by Steve Scherer, Jason Neely and Chizu Nomiyama)
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