This morning BCREA reported:
The Canadian economy finished the year on a weak note with total employment falling by 46,000 jobs in December. Those job losses pushed the Canadian unemployment higher by 0.3 points to 7.2 per cent. For all of 2013, employment growth averaged a mediocre 8,500 jobs per month and total employment expanded 1.3 per cent over 2012. Weak job growth and very low inflation in the Canadian economy should further erode any remaining rate-tightening bias at the Bank of Canada.
In BC, employment growth finished the year on a more positive note, with 12,500 new jobs. Unfortunately, job gains were isolated to part-time work and the province continued to lose full-time jobs. The provincial unemployment rate fell 0.1 points to 6.6 per cent. Total employment finished 2013 down 0.2 per cent from 2012.
In the United States, jobs gains missed markedly to the downside, posting just 74,000 new jobs versus expectations of 200,000. Despite weak job growth in December, the US unemployment rate fell to a five-year low of 6.7 per cent as a result of fewer people actively looking for work. However, monthly non-farm payrolls have averaged a relatively robust 174,000 jobs over the past three months which may provide a better guide to the underlying trend in unemployment.