Jobs numbers jump in May
The volatility in the employment data continued in Canada during May with an increase of 95,000 reported, building on the 12,500 rise in April.
Figures released this morning by Statistics Canada say these back-to-back gains mean that the economy more than recaptured the 25,700 jobs lost in the first quarter. May’s increase was the second largest monthly gain on record. The unemployment rate inched down to 7.1% from April’s 7.2% holding in the range established since November.
The largest sources of strength in the report showed up in construction, wholesale/retail trade, and education. Private-sector employment accounted for all the increase in May with a small decline in self-employment offset by a small increase in public sector employment. The gains in May were concentrated in full-time employment which increased by 76,700 while part-time employment increased by a modest 18,200 reversing much of April’s 23,600-worker decline.
On an industry basis, manufacturing employment fell by 14,200 largely reversing the 20,600 gain recorded in April. Year-to-date the manufacturing sector has cut 65,000 jobs. Construction employment conversely posted a large increase in May, rising 42,700.
On a provincial basis, the largest gain was recorded in Ontario, where employment increased by 51,000 in May and the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level since November 2008 at 7.3%. Quebec and Alberta also posted solid increases in employment in the month.
Alberta’s unemployment rate, however, increased by 0.4 ppt to 4.8% as there were more entrants into the labour forecast. Saskatchewan saw its unemployment rate rise to 4.5% from 4.0% as employment dipped slightly while the labour force expanded modestly. Still, the province retained the title of having the lowest unemployment rate in Canada.
Construction employment a drag on private sector job growth
The private sector added 135,000 jobs in May — an increase from 113,000 in April, but well under analyst estimates, HR staffing firm ADP said Wednesday.
In its National Employment Report, ADP said financial industry jobs represented 7,000 of the new positions. Despite these gains, jobs in financial services failed to offset weakness in construction, a sector that lost 6,000 positions.
The job growth is positive, but not strong enough to signal a strong turnaround, analysts with Econoday suggested.
"Expectations, however, were looking for a greater rate of improvement with the Econoday consensus calling for a gain 171,000 in May," staffers with the research firm said.
Additionally, Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, noted, "The job market continues to expand, but growth has slowed since the beginning of the year. The slowdown is evident across all industries and all but the largest companies. Manufacturers are reducing payrolls."
He added, "The softer job market this spring is largely due to significant fiscal drag from tax increases and government spending cuts."
Report: Nevada construction job picture mixed
Nevada lost construction jobs in April from a month earlier but scored gains over the previous 12 months, according to a report by the Associated General Contractors of America.
Overall, construction employment declined in 32 states and the District of Columbia in April even as 29 states added jobs between April 2012 and April 2013, according to the report.
“The industry shows signs of recovering but employment growth continues to be uneven, with some areas seeing stronger gains even as others continue to contract,” said Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist.
Illinois had the largest decline in construction employment between March and April followed by New York and Wisconsin. Florida added the largest number of jobs followed by California and Texas.