A new measure of Canada's job market launched Thursday by suggesting the country's employment situation went from hot to cold in October.
The inaugural ADP Canada Employment Report — based on a similar measure that has been running in the U.S. for years — says the country lost 5,700 jobs in October. Statistics Canada had said earlier this month that the country gained 35,000 jobs that month.
ADP, a U.S.-based human resources firm, uses different methodology from StatsCan to determine job gains and losses. StatsCan surveys 55,000 households and relies on respondents' answers for its labour force survey. ADP's survey measures payroll transactions at companies in Canada, representing more than two million employees. It excludes farm employment.
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StatsCan also runs a payroll survey, but its results come with a lag, and October data is not yet available.
The new ADP report may ring true to some experts, who have noted that lately there has been a disconnect between job numbers and data from the rest of the economy. While Canada's economy on the whole is pointing to a slowdown in the third quarter, StatsCan's job numbers continued to show stronger-than-normal employment growth.
ADP's report found that the downswing in jobs in October followed five straight months of strong job growth:
Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president of the ADP Research Institute, says that the slowdown in jobs in October may not be all bad news — it may be the result of a tighter job market that is making it harder for employers to find qualified workers.
"The Canadian economy has added more than 250,000 jobs so far this year, which is 25 percent more than the total number of jobs created in all of 2016," Yildirmaz said in a statement.
"As unemployment sinks lower, available workers will continue to grow scarce."
Broken down by sector, trade/transportation and utilities jobs saw the largest loss (down 9,800 positions in October), followed by natural resources and mining jobs (down 8,200), which includes oil and gas.
That was partly offset by gains in finance and real estate (up 11,400 jobs) and information jobs (up 10,200).
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