Canada lost 31,000 jobs last month, the second straight monthly decline

Canada’s economy lost 30,600 jobs in July, Statistics Canada said Friday.

It’s the second month in a row of lost jobs, coming on the heels of 43,000 jobs lost in June.

Most of the losses came in the service sector, which lost 53,000 positions. That was offset by a gain of 23,000 jobs in goods-producing industries.

Despite the decline, the jobless rate held steady at its record low of 4.9 per cent, because while there were fewer jobs, there were fewer people looking for work, too.

As of the end of July, the data agency says there were about one million people in Canada officially classified as unemployed, which means they want a job but don’t have one. Another 426,000 people wanted a job but didn’t look for one during the month, so they are not officially counted in the labour force.

Canada’s soft job market stands in stark contrast to that in the U.S., where the economy added 528,000 jobs last month. That’s twice as many as economists were expecting.

While the monthly job number is always volatile, and is especially so in the summer months, Tiago Figueiredo, an economist with Desjardins says the underwhelming number suggests Canada’s “labour market slammed the brakes in July.”

“With that said, the labour market still remains tight and there’s scope for a further weakness in employment as economic growth slows.”

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