Friday, December 5, 2008

November Job Losses Biggest in 26 Years

(Reuters – Louise Egan)

Canadian employers cut 70,600 jobs in November, the most in any month since June 1982, fueling expectations of a big interest rate cut next week and likely adding spark to the parliamentary crisis in Ottawa.

Statistics Canada said on Friday the biggest job losses were in Ontario, the country's manufacturing heartland and home to its auto industry, where the U.S. economic downturn has forced layoffs.

"The great reckoning for Canadian workers begins," said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.3% from 6.2% in October. Markets had forecast 25,000 job losses in November and a jobless rate of 6.4%.

The Canadian dollar fell against the U.S. dollar after the report, sliding to C$1.2924 to the U.S. dollar, or 77.38 U.S. cents, from C$1.2826 previously.

The shakedown of global labor markets had not arrived on Canada's doorstep in full force until now, with a net gain of 133,000 jobs in the first 11 months of the year compared with almost 2 million shed in the United States. U.S. employers axed payrolls by 533,000 in November for the weakest performance in 34 years.

The Canadian numbers will worsen too in coming months, analysts said. Read the complete article here and links to the data files are on the Statistics Canada website.