Canada's job market generated 358,000 new jobs last year, pushing the unemployment rate down to its lowest level in 33 years.
January job numbers signalled that the momentum is carrying into 2008 with labour markets outperforming expectations yet again. The strong acceleration in wage gains evident late last year is also carrying through into 2008.
The 27 census metropolitan areas (CMAs) we track in this report account for roughly 70% of jobs nationwide and, therefore, are a good gauge of the key trends in Canadian cities. The service sector in these CMAs supported overall job gains during the last year with 279,000 new jobs created, while the goodsproducing sector added 5,700 new jobs. Goods-sector employment is typically more volatile (chart 1) compared to service-sector employment.
Goods-sector employment in the CMAs has been on a generally slowing trend since 2002 in line with a strengthening currency and rising commodity prices, but not without some choppiness on the way down.
In the last five years, the average annual rate of growth in the goods sector was nearly flat at 0.4%, while service sector employment has moved along at a solid 2.4% pace.
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A. Mark Argentino
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