Canada posts job losses in May, but wages increased

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Unemployment dropped in Calgary and Alberta in May, even though the national rate remained unchanged.

"The May employment report was a bit of stinker, but stepping back shows a labour market that is pretty tight, with some upward wage pressure", Bank of Montreal senior economist Robert Kavcic wrote in a brief note.

"Add in some other strong indicators this week, and the Bank of Canada should be on track to raise rates next month barring more fallout on the trade front".

The Bank of Canada laid the groundwork last week for more interest-rate hikes, bolstering expectations the central bank will move as early as its next meeting in July. Despite the increase in the unemployment rate for the fifth straight month, the region only lost around 100 jobs from April to May.

May's report continues the trend of a less than desirable employment picture for the second month after the nation posted a slight net loss of 1,100 jobs in April. On a sector basis, goods-producing industries led the way down, with an 18,300 decline in manufacturing jobs and a 13,000 drop in construction.

The agency goes on to say that employment for men and women in the core working ages of 25 to 54 both fell by about 19,000 in May.

Sectors gaining jobs included the accommodation and food services sector which added 18,000 jobs, helped by growth in British Columbia. In terms of employment types, the public sector added 12.9 k jobs, while private employment fell 4.8k.

The decline in jobs was driven by a drop of 31,000 full-time positions, while part-time work rose by 23,600 positions.

May had a weaker than expected labour market, according to the latest numbers released Friday from Statistics Canada.

Regionally, Prince Edward Island added 800 jobs for the month, while employment in B.C. fell by 12,000 for the month.

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