The team at Statistics Canada released the latest Labour Force Survey this morning. The report showed that the country’s economy added 44,000 jobs last month, beating most economists’ expectations.

The Good

The national unemployment rate dropped to 7.0%, and for the first time ever there are now more than 18,000,000 working Canadians. In the past year, the economy has added 143,000 new jobs, all of them in full-time work.

So that’s the good news. However, the devil is in the details and there are some ominous signs for the road ahead.

Warning signs

For one thing, 32,000 of the job gains in October were in Public Administration and mostly temporary work. This is almost certainly the many, many people hired in conjunction with the federal election last month. So those jobs will likely evaporate in next month’s Labour Force Survey.

Employment in Natural Resources continued on the downward trend that began a year ago, falling by 8,000 in October and bringing total losses in the industry to 26,000 over the past 12 months. Most of these declines were in Alberta. That province lost another 11,000 jobs last month bringing the unemployment rate to 6.6%.

People working part-time in that province is also up by 9.5% year-over-year. This seems to indicate that many people who had previously been working full-time have taken those part time jobs that employers were struggling to fill during the oil boom. Job postings in that region are down by 13.5% over this time last year. With that slack in the job market taken up, it is likely that unemployment will increase in the coming months.

Canada’s largest province

Ontario fared well in October adding 29,000 new jobs bringing that province unemployment rate to 6.8%. Year-over-year, Ontario has seen a shift from fewer people working part-time to more being in full-time positions.

The number of job openings being advertised online nationally was down nearly 10% in October from September, however is still up by 3.2% over this time last year.

Looking ahead

Despite some ominous economic signs, Workopolis is still expecting to see the same slow and steady increases in employment that we have been noting through much of the year continue into 2016. Paid online job advertisements are up in most of the country, except for Alberta.

We will be putting out a comprehensive report on the job market of 2015 with projections for 2016 trends in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!