Canadian manufacturers have added 43,000 jobs over the last 12 months. PHOTO courtesy Okuma.
Manufacturing employment increased by a modest 8,800 (+0.5%) in September, partially offsetting the 29,500 jobs lost in July, according to the latest Statistics Canada data.
“With this gain, manufacturers have added 43,000 jobs over the last 12 months. Accordingly, employment in the sector stood at 1.820 million in September, exceeding the 1.8-million mark for the fifth consecutive month, a level not seen since late 2018,” commented Alan Arcand, chief economist with Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. “Looking ahead, however, the manufacturing sector continues to face numerous headwinds that will likely limit job creation over the near term, including ongoing workforce challenges, high interest rates, and a slowing global economy.”
Employment in manufacturing was up in only three provinces in September, with the bulk of gains taking place in Quebec (15,700). Manitoba (+2,600) and Saskatchewan (+2,500) were the other two provinces to add manufacturing jobs last month. Taking a longer-term view, manufacturers in Ontario (+20,000) have created the most jobs over the past year, while manufacturers in BC (-5,000) have shed the most workers.
Headline wage growth remained brisk, with average hourly earnings on a year-over-year basis ticking up from 4.9% in August to 5.0% in September. Pay gains were significantly higher in manufacturing, Arcand noted even though a rising unemployment rate signals that labour market conditions are easing somewhat.
“Year-over-year, wages in the sector accelerated from 7.2% in August to a near-record high of 8.5% in September. The average factory worker earned $33.71 an hour in September 2023, up from $31.07 an hour in September 2022,” Arcand said.