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Lots of new jobs here; wait, now they're gone

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Manitoba jobs are disappearing almost as fast as they're being created, the latest puzzling labour-force numbers from Statistics Canada show.

The federal agency's monthly labour-force report, released Friday, shows the Manitoba economy shed 7,300 jobs in October -- 4,800 part-time and 2,400 full-time positions (rounded off).

That wiped out many of the job gains from the previous two months, when 3,400 new positions were added in August and another 6,600 in September. It also left University of Manitoba economist John McCallum once again scratching his head over why Manitoba continues to see these wild fluctuations in its monthly labour-force numbers.

"One month we're up 6,600 (jobs), and the next month we're down 7,300. Those are big numbers for a small province."

McCallum said he's at a loss to explain how that many jobs could have been eliminated in a single month without attracting a lot of media attention.

"Like, who's doing this?"

The Statistics Canada report showed 6,500 of last month's job losses were in the service-producing sector, including 2,600 in educational services and 2,300 in the business, building and other support services category.

As he has done several times in recent years, McCallum said it may be time the provincial government tries to figure out these puzzling fluctuations.

But on the bright side, he noted the Statistics Canada numbers also show Manitoba had a net gain of 13,600 full-time jobs in the past year, offset in part by a net loss of 11,900 part-time positions.

"The good news is we're gaining full-time jobs, and the bad news is we're losing part-time jobs. But hopefully the part-time jobs are being converted into full-time ones."

Another piece of encouraging news was that the province's manufacturing sector added 4,200 jobs over the past year, he said.

"Manufacturing jobs tend to pay well and they tend to have a big export component to them."

Nationally, Canada's recent strong jobs performance slowed to a crawl in October, as the economy managed a meagre 1,800 new jobs -- not enough to nudge the unemployment rate off 7.4 per cent.

But it was the surprisingly strong number south of the border that impressed markets and economists, with the U.S. reporting an above-consensus 171,000 additional jobs, all in the private sector. As well, employment figures for September and August were revised upwards.

"The big story today is the U.S. job numbers, which generally were better than expected," said Doug Porter, deputy chief economist with BMO Capital Markets.

"We're not pounding the ground on this one, but between the upturn in the housing sector in the U.S. and somewhat better jobs picture, there are more grounds for optimism and that will spill into Canada."

 

-- Staff / The Canadian Press

tistics Canada show.

The federal agency's monthly labour-force report, released Friday, shows the Manitoba economy shed 7,300 jobs in October -- 4,800 part-time and 2,400 full-time positions (rounded off).

That wiped out many of the job gains from the previous two months, when 3,400 new positions were added in August and another 6,600 in September. It also left University of Manitoba economist John McCallum once again scratching his head over why Manitoba continues to see these wild fluctuations in its monthly labour-force numbers.

"One month we're up 6,600 (jobs), and the next month we're down 7,300. Those are big numbers for a small province."

McCallum said he's at a loss to explain how that many jobs could have been eliminated in a single month without attracting a lot of media attention.

"Like, who's doing this?"

The Statistics Canada report showed 6,500 of last month's job losses were in the service-producing sector, including 2,600 in educational services and 2,300 in the business, building and other support services category.

As he has done several times in recent years, McCallum said it may be time the provincial government tries to figure out these puzzling fluctuations.

But on the bright side, he noted the Statistics Canada numbers also show Manitoba had a net gain of 13,600 full-time jobs in the past year, offset in part by a net loss of 11,900 part-time positions.

"The good news is we're gaining full-time jobs, and the bad news is we're losing part-time jobs. But hopefully the part-time jobs are being converted into full-time ones."

Another piece of encouraging news was that the province's manufacturing sector added 4,200 jobs over the past year, he said.

"Manufacturing jobs tend to pay well and they tend to have a big export component to them."

Nationally, Canada's recent strong jobs performance slowed to a crawl in October, as the economy managed a meagre 1,800 new jobs -- not enough to nudge the unemployment rate off 7.4 per cent.

But it was the surprisingly strong number south of the border that impressed markets and economists, with the U.S. reporting an above-consensus 171,000 additional jobs, all in the private sector. As well, employment for September and August were revised upwards.

"The big story today is the U.S. job numbers, which generally were better than expected," said Doug Porter, deputy chief economist with BMO Capital Markets.

"We're not pounding the ground on this one, but between the upturn in the housing sector in the U.S. and somewhat better jobs picture, there are more grounds for optimism and that will spill into Canada."

-- Staff / The Canadian Press

Canada's jobless

OTTAWA -- The national unemployment rate was 7.4 per cent in October. Statistics Canada also released seasonally adjusted, three-month moving average unemployment rates for major cities but cautions the figures may fluctuate widely because they are based on small statistical samples. (Previous month in brackets.)

St. John's, N.L. 7.0 (7.1)

Halifax 5.4 (5.7)

Moncton, N.B. 7.1 (7.2)

Saint John, N.B. 9.0 (9.1)

Saguenay, Que. 8.2 (7.2)

Quebec 5.4 (5.4)

Sherbrooke, Que. 8.4 (8.5)

Trois-Rivieres, Que. 7.9 (7.8)

Montreal 8.2 (8.2)

Gatineau, Que. 6.0 (6.1)

Ottawa 6.6 (6.6)

Kingston, Ont. 6.8 (6.5)

Peterborough, Ont. 6.1 (6.3)

Oshawa, Ont. 9.1 (9.0)

Toronto 8.6 (8.5)

Hamilton, Ont. 6.3 (6.8)

Brantford, Ont. 8.7 (8.4)

Guelph, Ont. 5.8 (5.2)

London, Ont. 8.7 (8.5)

Windsor, Ont. 9.6 (9.0)

Barrie, Ont. 8.3 (8.9)

Sudbury, Ont. 6.6 (6.9)

Thunder Bay, Ont. 6.1 (6.3)

Winnipeg 5.5 (5.5)

Regina 3.9 (4.0)

Saskatoon 5.1 (5.4)

Calgary 4.7 (4.7)

Edmonton 4.3 (4.5)

Kelowna, B.C. 6.0 (5.4)

Abbotsford, B.C. 7.7 (7.3)

Vancouver 7.2 (7.0)

Victoria 5.6 (6.0)

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 3, 2012 B9

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