Canada: Don’t be fooled by the July headline labour force survey numbers - NBF

Matthieu Arseneau, Deputy Chief Economist at National Bank Financial, suggests that although the stunning Canadian labour force survey headline number published on Friday will close some of the gap with the payroll survey (SEPH), the details of the report are far from impressive.

Key Quotes

“Full-time jobs were down sharply and private hiring represented only a tiny share of total monthly gains.”

“On a year-to-date basis, employment in the private sector is still down 43K, its worst showing over for the first seven months of the year since 2009.”

“Turning to wages, hourly earnings (seasonally adjusted by NBF) declined 0.3% in July (m/m), the biggest drop since 2016.”

“All in all, this LFS report supports our view that the Bank of Canada will want to wait at least until October for its next rate hike to get more visibility on the Canadian fiscal update and trade uncertainty.”


  • Employment rose by 54K in July according to the Labour Force survey, much stronger than consensus which was expecting a gain of 17K.
  • The unemployment rate dropped two ticks to 5.8%.
  • Hourly earnings were up 3.2% year-on-year, a four ticks decline from June’s level.”

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