Lost in all of the chatter over the U.S. employment report released this morning — which estimated that only 74,000 workers were hired to nonfarm payrolls in December, well below the 197,000 consensus prediction — was Canada’s jobs report, which was released at the same time and was actually worse than its U.S. counterpart.
Data from Statistics Canada estimate that 45,900 jobs were lost in December, well below the consensus forecast for a 14,100 gain. In November, the Canadian economy added 21,600 jobs.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate shot up to 7.2%, well above the consensus forecast for a reading unchanged from November at 6.9%.
“While the U.S. dismal December nonfarm payroll report can largely be dismissed due to the impact of bad weather, Canada can only wish they had such an excuse,” says Adrian Miller, director of fixed income strategy at GMP Securities.
Miller chalks up the report as the latest evidence of headwinds to Canadian economic growth.
“The reality is that it is difficult to assess the weather hit from the underlying trend, but it feeds quite neatly into the Canadian dollar bearish theme,” says Sebastien Galy, a senior forex strategist at Société Générale. “Housing prices are slowing in Canada, with large amounts of supply coming to the market in Canada. It’s all pre-sold, the consumers or investors bought it, and it’s guaranteed by a Canadian authority…”
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