BUSINESS

Canada Added 44,000 Jobs In October, But Government Hiring Is The Only Thing Going

11/06/2015 08:45 EST | Updated 11/08/2015 01:59 EST

After months of stagnation, Canada's job market took off in October, adding 44,000 jobs as the unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 7 per cent, Statistics Canada reported Friday.

For the first time ever, the number of people employed in Canada surpassed 18 million, StatsCan said.

But some of those job gains may have been temporary, the result of federal government hiring for the election. Of the jobs created, 32,000 were in public administration, StatsCan said. It noted that its labour fource survey was carried out from Oct. 11-17, while advance polls were open Oct. 9-12 and the election was held Oct. 19.

In fact, government hiring seems to have accounted for much of the job gains seen in Canada since the oil price rout began more than a year ago.

"Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of public sector employees was up 97,000 (+2.7 per cent), while private sector employment was little changed," growing 0.3 per cent, StatsCan noted.

Most of the job gains in October were part-time (up 35,400) while full-time jobs grew much more slowly (up 9,000).

Ontario led the way on job growth, adding 29,200 positions, followed by British Columbia, with a gain of 23,300. The bleeding continued in Alberta, where 10,800 jobs disappeared during the month. Alberta's jobless rate rose a notch to 6.6 per cent. Quebec lost 5,600 jobs.

The natural resources sector lost 8,000 jobs in the month, and employment is down by 6.9 per cent over the past year.

Manufacturing gained 6,500 jobs in the month, but compared to a year earlier, employment is unchanged. Construction lost 9,400 jobs and is down 1.7 per cent over the past year.

But BMO chief economist Doug Porter noted that, stripping out public service hiring, jobs still grew by 12,000 in October.

"True, today’s report is not nearly as sparkly and shiny as the headline would suggest, but the details are quite respectable," he wrote in a client note.

"Overall, the economy looks to be grinding along at a pace just fast enough to absorb population growth and keep the unemployment rate pegged at around 7 per cent for now."

Provincial unemployment rates (previous month in brackets):

- Newfoundland and Labrador 13.0 per cent (13.6)

- Prince Edward Island 9.9 (9.3)

- Nova Scotia 7.8 (8.9)

- New Brunswick 9.0 (8.8)

- Quebec 7.7 (7.7)

- Ontario 6.8 (6.9)

- Manitoba 5.3 (5.2)

- Saskatchewan 5.6 (5.1)

- Alberta 6.6 (6.5)

- British Columbia 6.3 (6.3)

Municipal unemployment rates (previous month in brackets)

- St. John's, N.L. 6.5 per cent (6.5)

- Halifax 5.9 (5.9)

- Moncton, N.B. 6.2 (6.9)

- Saint John, N.B. 7.7 (8.5)

- Saguenay, Que. 8.4 (8.5)

- Quebec 5.0 (4.9)

- Sherbrooke, Que. 6.6 (6.8)

- Trois-Rivieres, Que. 6.9 (6.9)

- Montreal 8.7 (8.7)

- Gatineau, Que. 6.6 (6.7)

- Ottawa 6.1 (6.2)

- Kingston, Ont. 6.8 (7.1)

- Peterborough, Ont. 8.4 (8.0)

- Oshawa, Ont. 8.0 (8.2)

- Toronto 7.1 (6.9)

- Hamilton, Ont. 5.5 (5.3)

- St. Catharines-Niagara, Ont. 7.3 (6.8)

- Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, Ont. 6.0 (5.8)

- Brantford, Ont. 5.3 (6.4)

- Guelph, Ont. 4.0 (3.6)

- London, Ont. 7.1 (7.3)

- Windsor, Ont. 9.8 (9.7)

- Barrie, Ont. 6.6 (6.9)

- Sudbury, Ont. 7.4 (7.3)

- Thunder Bay, Ont. 4.9 (5.0)

- Winnipeg 5.6 (5.6)

- Regina 4.1 (4.4)

- Saskatoon 6.1 (5.8)

- Calgary 6.7 (6.8)

- Edmonton 6.0 (5.9)

- Kelowna, B.C. 7.2 (6.9)

- Abbotsford, B.C. 6.8 (5.9)

- Vancouver 5.9 (5.8)

- Victoria 6.1 (5.6)

- With a file from The Canadian Press