PROCESSWEST Magazine Online

Goods production slump a sign of summer doldrums, or something worse?

October 14, 2019   Don Horne




The CPCA released its market update, and one of the highlights – or in this case lowlights – were the job losses in Ontario and Wester Canada in the goods production sector.

According to the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME), the steepest job losses were in the goods sector and in services directly tied to goods production. There were 20,600 fewer Canadians working in wholesale and retail trade in July, while employment in transportation and warehousing fell by about 14,800 positions. Employment in resource extraction and manufacturing was also down, while the only bright spot in the goods sector was in construction, where employment jumped by 25,000 workers – more than enough to offset two consecutive months of declines.

To read the entire report, click here.

Most of Canada’s manufacturing job losses in July were in Ontario and western Canada. Ontario lost about 10,900 net manufacturing jobs compared to June, driving total employment in the sector down to its lowest level since last September. Meanwhile in B.C., notwithstanding a fleeting spike in May, manufacturing employment has been slowly trending downward for almost two years. The province lost 4,200 manufacturing jobs in July and nearly 14,000 jobs over the last two years.

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Employment may have dipped over the last couple of months, but wage pressures are continuing to mount. In May, average hourly wages were about 2.9 per cent higher than they were 12 months earlier. That growth rate jumped to 3.8% in June and accelerated further in July. Average wages in July were 4.5 per cent than they were at the same time last year. That represents the fastest wage growth Canada has seen in more than a decade.


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