Canada jobless rate up again in October to 5.7pc

A general view of the factory floor and numerous automated machines used in the production and manufacturing of aircraft parts, at Abipa Canada in Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada on 10 May, 2023

Canada’s unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage points in October to 5.7 per cent, marking a fourth monthly increase in the past six months, the government statistical agency said Friday.

Since April, the rate has increased by a total of 0.7 percentage points, after holding steady at a near record-low from December 2022 to April 2023.

Some 18,000 new jobs were created in October, said Statistics Canada -- not enough to keep pace with soaring population growth (up 85,000) and slightly below analysts’ forecast of 25,000 new jobs.

Employment gains in construction (+23,000) and information, culture and recreation (+21,000) were partially offset by decreases in wholesale and retail trade (-22,000) and manufacturing (-19,000), the agency said.

Among those unemployed in September, nearly two-thirds remained so in October. This was a greater proportion than a year earlier, Statistics Canada said, indicating that “job seekers are facing more difficulties finding employment than a year ago.”

It noted also that one in three Canadians reported living in a household experiencing financial difficulties due to inflation, despite average year-over-year price increases recently falling to 3.9 per cent from a June peak of 8.1 per cent.

Most of those persons were living in southern Ontario -- Canada’s industrial heartland and home to one-third of its population.
Quebec residents fared the best in the measure of cost of living stresses.