One of the main reasons many economists say Canada is in a “technical recession” and not a “real recession” is that jobs and wages somehow held up through the slowdown.
But those who argue Canadian consumers aren’t feeling the slowdown should see StatsCan’s latest numbers on job and wage growth. Four provinces have fewer jobs today than a year ago, and wage growth in Canada has fizzled, so that it is now barely above inflation.
Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan have all seen the number of non-farm jobs shrink over the past year, according to StatsCan’s latest survey of payroll employment, earnings and hours.
Only two of those provinces — Alberta and Saskatchewan — are oil exporters, suggesting the economic slowdown has spread, at least a little, from the oil patch to other parts of the economy.
Leading the job losses is Alberta, which has lost a net 13,100 jobs over the past year, or 0.6 per cent of the province’s total.
On the flipside are British Columbia and Ontario, the two job-growth leaders in Canada right now. B.C.’s job numbers have jumped by 2.3 per cent over the past year, while Ontario has seen job growth at 2 per cent.
StatsCan’s survey finds wage growth in Canada is slowing. It had been running at an annual rate of 3.1 per cent to start the year, but it has slowed virtually every month since then, and the July figures show wages growing at just 1.6 per cent.
That’s barely above the rate of inflation, which was at 1.3 per cent in July.
Strangely, Manitoba is leading the way on wage growth, despite losing jobs over the past year. And there’s one province where wages have fallen over the past year. No bonus points for guessing which one.