Alberta and BC suffer massive job losses

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The economy added 266,000 jobs in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) monthly Employment Situation Report released today. Here's a rundown of everything you need to know.

The United States is currently in its longest economic expansion in history, now in its 11th year. The unemployment rate dropped in November to just 3.5%, matching its lowest level in almost 50 years.

What happened: The Canadian economy lost 71,200 jobs in November. Wage gains also remain robust, with pay increases for permanent employees up 4.4% on the year.

In addition to the strong November numbers, the Labor Department also revised its jobs growth estimates for the last two months higher as well.

"Since 2011, the economy has pretty consistently produced around 150-200k jobs per month".

And the holiday shopping season has begun later this year compared with previous years, a fact that some economists think might have delayed hiring by retailers and shipping firms last month.

According to Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey, November 2019, employment fell in Alberta by 18,000 in November, with notable drops in the natural resources sector as well as wholesale and retail trade. Job hunting can already be a challenge, and with that many people out of work, the process is made that much harder.

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"Canada's jobs report is disappointing, showing job losses for the second month in a row", said Julia Pollak, labour economist at ZipRecruiter, an online employment marketplace. "Hiring momentum continues to surpass the growth rate of the labor force", wrote Bloomberg economists Carl Riccadonna and Yelena Shulyatyeva.

Employment in transportation and warehousing continued on an upward trend in November, adding 16,000 jobs.

Most analysts say they remain hopeful about the economy and the job market. That reflects the end of the autoworkers' strike, which brought more than 40,000 people back to work. An autoworkers' strike at General Motors that ended in October artificially lowered that month's job gain by about 41,000 to 128,000.

When assessing the health of a city's job market, economists look at the number of jobs created or lost rather than just the unemployment rate. The mining industry, however, lost 7,000 jobs while the construction and government sectors saw little change.

The tight labor market is a generating steady wage gains, which last month likely received a boost from a calendar quirk.

In Europe, Britain's FTSE gained 0.5 percent, France's CAC was up 1.1 percent and Germany's DAX was higher by 0.8 percent.

"The past relationship between the PMI [purchasing managers index] and the overall economy indicates that the PMI for November (48.1 percent) corresponds to a 1.5-percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis", Fiore said.