Manufacturing wages in Canada remained elevated although manufacturing employment was down for the second time in three months. PHOTO courtesy Lincoln Electric.
Manufacturing employment decreased by 18,800 (-1.0%) in October, down for the second time in three months, according to Statistics Canada.
“Manufacturing job growth appears to be slowing, coinciding with numerous obstacles such as ongoing workforce challenges, sharply higher interest rates, and soft global demand. Manufacturers have added just 16,700 workers through the first ten months of 2023, down from gains of 78,400 in 2021 and 37,400 in 2022,” comments Alan Arcand, chief economist, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.
Manufacturing wages, however, remain elevated. Headline wages were up 4.8% year-over-year in October, down slightly from 5.0% in September but well above the historical average of 3.0%.
“Pay gains remained significantly higher in manufacturing, although average hourly earnings in the sector decelerated from a near-record high of 8.5% in September to a still-elevated 6.9% in October. The average factory worker earned $33.45 an hour in October 2023, up from $31.28 an hour in October 2022,” Arcand notes.
Looking at Canadian employment overall, employment rose by a modest 17,500 (+0.1%) in October, following two strong monthly gains.
“Even though employment continues to climb, it is important to note that the Canadian economy needs to generate about 50,000 new jobs each month to keep up with the country’s rapid population growth, a much higher threshold than in years past. In other words, signs are mounting that the labour market is gradually cooling in line with a sluggish economy. Notably, the number of private sector jobs has declined by nearly 40,000 over the last four months,” Arcand points out.