Canada’s economy said goodbye to 30,600 jobs in July, according to new data from Statistics Canada (StatCan).

The employment rate remained unchanged from June at 4.9%. 

Both figures were weaker than experts had predicted. However, they are slightly more promising than June’s data: that month, Canada lost 43,200 jobs.

According to StatCan, the number of public sector employees fell, and the number of self-employed workers rose. Meanwhile, the private sector saw little change. 

“At the industry level, a decline in the services-producing sector was offset by an increase in the goods-producing sector,” reads the report. Losses in the services-producing sector were seen in wholesale and retail trade, health care and social assistance, and educational services.

housing supply

The country’s labour market remains notably tight. July saw over one million job vacancies in Canada and the unemployment rate is the lowest on record (based on stats dating back to 1976). Despite a clear labour shortage, however, StatCan data reveals that there is no evidence of an increase in the amount of Canadians leaving or switching jobs. 

The labour participation rate for Canadians between the ages of 25 and 54 is relatively unchanged from where it was pre-pandemic, according to StatCan. 

When it comes to wages, the pace of wage growth held steady compared to June, with average hourly wages rising 5.2% year over year. 

The report also examined the current nursing shortage in the country -- something that’s bubbling at the surface to reach crisis levels and become a political focus. Tellingly, the data revealed that more than one in five nurses worked paid overtime hours in July -- the highest level since comparable data became available in 1997. To put this into perspective, about 10% of all other employees worked overtime in July. 

Employment fell among women aged 25 and older in July, while employment rose for men 55 and older. It was more or less unchanged among youth aged 15 to 24 and men aged 25 to 54, says StatCan.

When it comes to regional differences, fewer people were working in Ontario and Prince Edward Island, according to the report. Meanwhile, employment changed very little in all other provinces.