Canada’s economy lost 2,200 jobs in June, and the jobless rate ticked up to 5.5 per cent because more people were looking for work, according to Statistics Canada.
Alberta added 10,000 jobs, while Saskatchewan added 2,500, figures released Friday show.
On the flip side, Manitoba lost 5,200 jobs, while Newfoundland and Labrador lost 2,000. Everywhere else, the job numbers were largely unchanged.
Economists were expecting the economy to have added almost 10,000 jobs. The Canadian dollar responded poorly to the bleak headline number, with the loonie losing about a third of a cent to trade at just over 76 cents US after the numbers came out.
According to the data agency, more than 24,000 full-time jobs were created during the month, but they were offset by a loss of 26,000 part-time positions.
Despite the weak showing last month, over the past 12 months, Canada’s economy has cranked out 421,000 new jobs.
Although there was a slight decline in the total number of jobs, not all the numbers in the June report were bleak. More people 55 and older reported having a job during the month, as that age cohort added 22,000 jobs. But that was offset by 18,000 fewer jobs among men in their core working years of 25 to 54.
Despite fewer jobs, anyone who had one in general saw their paycheque get a little bigger during the month.
“Wage growth for permanent employees surged to 3.6 per cent year on year in June from a 2.6 per cent pace in the preceding two months,” Toronto-Dominion Bank economist Fotios Raptis noted.
The summer job market also seems to be humming along nicely.
Statistics Canada reported the jobless rate for students between ages 20 and 24 declined to eight per cent, the lowest level since record-keeping began in 1977.
The monthly jobs figure is the last major data release before the Bank of Canada meets next week to decide on its trend-setting interest rate.
“No new jobs were created in June, but the surge in wage growth is sure to catch the attention of the Bank of Canada,” Raptis said.