Now is the time to look back fondly at January to June – when the Canadian economy not only created more than 150,000 new jobs, but among them created a slew of high quality, full-time, well-paid positions.
Look back now and smile, then turn to brace yourself for the six months ahead, when this kind of job creation is set to sputter to a stop.
A whopping 97 per cent of all jobs created earlier this year were full-time positions, the number of which grew at ten times the pace of part-time jobs.
Much of this work is in high-paying sectors, including heavy and civil engineering construction, oil and gas extraction, and petroleum and coal manufacturing. Available work in these high-paying positions grew more than twice as fast compared with lower paying jobs over the past six months, according to the Canadian Employment Quality Index released by CIBC on Thursday.
These dynamics were reflected in the latest data from Statistics Canada showing wages across the country rose by 3.4 per cent over the month of June – the largest jump in three years. In June alone, 29,300 full-time jobs were created, up from 1,400 created in May.
All of this has economists predicting strong income growth in the second quarter, but after that, they expect gains will be short lived.
“The slowing global economy means that export-oriented high-paying jobs will not be as plentiful while a moderating real estate market will soften job creation in the construction sector,” CIBC economist Benjamin Tal wrote in a report.
Lower oil prices, a result of inventory build-ups in North America and slowing demand from oil-importing economies such as the United States and the European Union, threaten to put a drag on Canada’s oil and gas sector. New mortgage rules designed by the federal government to cool the housing market also seem to be having their desired effect.
“Add to it the impact of public sector downsizing and you have a sure-fire recipe for a slowing trajectory of employment quality in the coming quarters,” Mr. Tal said.