Canada’s economy added a net 153,700 jobs in November, well above analysts’ expectations of 35,000, while the unemployment rate dropped to 6.0 per cent, beating expert estimates of 6.6 per cent and edging closer to the February 2020 jobless rate of 5.7 per cent, Statistics Canada said. This was a big deal and a good sign that the economy is re-absorbing workers. Ontario’s Economic Development Minister made the point that over 100,000 more workers are employed in the province than was the case pre-COVID. Nationally, that number was over 180,000 jobs.
Some economists are making the point that we’re now basically at full employment levels, and that ultra low interest rates are no longer necessary: “Let us be blunt: Having achieved full employment, Canada no longer requires extraordinarily stimulative monetary policy,” Warren Lovely, National Bank’s chief debt strategist, and Stéfane Marion, the bank’s chief economist, wrote after Statistics Canada released its latest batch of hiring data on Dec. 3. Based on the unemployment rate and underutilization rate figures, our economy has now returned to the position it was in before the pandemic.
The strong employment figures now shift momentum back on the BOC to focus on inflation, given that the labour market has recovered so well.