Canada’s economy lost 40,000 jobs in August, enough to push up the jobless rate by half a percentage point, to 5.4 per cent, Statistics Canada reported Friday.
Economists had been expecting the economy to add between 10,000 and 15,000 jobs during the month, which would have been a reversal after two straight monthly declines in June and July.
Instead, August’s numbers bring the three-month tally of losses to more than 100,000 since May.
The job losses were enough to push up the jobless rate for the first time in seven months. In June, Canada’s unemployment rate fell to 4.9 per cent, its lowest level on record. It stayed flat in July, but has now jumped up by half a percentage point from that record low level.
Average hourly wages during the month were $31.33. That’s up by 5.4 per cent compared to what they were a year ago. For comparison purposes, Canada’s inflation rate is currently 7.6 per cent, which means wage gains are still far from keeping up with inflation.