Canada sees slight jobs decline as wages accelerate, unemployment rate stays low

Statistics Canada

 Canada's economy posted a loss of 2,200 jobs in June, a month that saw the jobless rate stay near its four-decade low and wages rise to their highest level in over a year.

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate edged up to 5.5 per cent, compared to 5.4 per cent in May, which was its lowest mark since the government started collecting comparable data in 1976.

Economists on average had expected an addition of 10,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate to rise to 5.5 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Even with the small decline, the numbers show the economy added 248,000 new positions _ almost all of which were full time, over the first half of 2019 to give Canada its strongest six-month stretch of job growth to start a year since 2002.

Year-over-year average hourly wage growth for all employees was 3.8 per cent in June, giving the indicator its strongest month since May 2018 and second-best reading in a decade.

Quebec saw wage growth reach five per cent for its highest level since April 2009.

The report says in June the economy added about 24,000 full-time jobs and the lost about 26,000 part-time positions.

In New Brunswick, the unemployment rate was up 6 tenths of a per cent to sit at 7.8%.

The provincial economy gained 2,100 net full-time jobs, but this was offset by a jump in the labour force of 3,500 people.

(With files from Bell Media's Charles M. Renshaw)