Canada Added A Record 886,000 New Jobs In 2021

Canada’s labor market added twice as many jobs in December as economists had expected, caping a strong end to a record year for employment gains throughout the country.

Canada added 54,700 jobs last month, Statistics Canada reported. That’s more than double the 25,000 gains economists had forecast. Full-time jobs surged by 123,000 as many part-time workers shifted to more permanent employment, a sign of labour market strength.

The report adds to gathering evidence that economic conditions were strong in the final weeks of 2021, before the country was hit by a wave of COVID-19 cases and new lockdown measures.

Canada created 886,000 new jobs for all of 2021, a record year. After losing three million jobs at the start of the pandemic, employment is now 240,500 above where it was in February 2020 before the global pandemic began.

The jobless rate fell to 5.9% in December from 6% in November, also near historic lows.

The Canadian dollar strengthened, rising 0.5% to $1.2672 per U.S. dollar on news of the jobs report. Bonds continued their decline, pushing the benchmark two-year yield to as high as 1.11%, its highest level since December 8.

The strong jobs reports raises expectations that interest rates are going to rise soon. Markets are pricing in five Bank of Canada rate hikes this year, beginning as early as this month when policy makers make their first decision of 2022 on January 26.