The Canadian economy lost 30,600 jobs in July, Statistics Canada said on Friday.
This is the second consecutive month of job losses, following 43,000 jobs lost in June.
Most of the losses were in the services sector, which lost 53,000 positions. This was offset by an increase of 23,000 jobs in industries producing goods.
Despite the decline, the unemployment rate remained stable at a record low of 4.9% because, although there were fewer jobs, fewer people were looking for work.
The data agency says there were about a million people in Canada officially classified as unemployed at the end of July, meaning they want to work but don’t have one. Another 426,000 wanted a job but did not look for one for a month, so they are not officially counted in the labor force.
The market for easy jobs in Canada contrasts sharply with that in the US, where the economy added 528,000 jobs last month. This is twice as much as economists expected.
While monthly job numbers are always volatile, especially during the summer months, Thiago Figueiredo, an economist at Desjardins, says the disappointing numbers suggest “the Canadian labor market hit the brakes in July.”
“With that said, the labor market remains tight, and employment is likely to weaken further as economic growth slows.”
The business drive to do more with fewer employees collides with the productivity conundrum