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Special Report

Canada Employment
Research Brief

February 2024

Job Growth Beats Expectations but Underlying
Trends Support Rate Cuts by Mid-Year

Strong job gains mark the beginning of 2024. Canada’s total employment surprised to the upside, rising by 37,000 in January. The unexpectedly robust increase was driven by a jump in the public sector, which was partially offset by declines in private-sector employment and the self-employed population. Historical data was revised upward, now showing that 12,600 more jobs were added in the final quarter of 2023 than previously reported. Helped by a decrease in labour force participation, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 per cent, marking the first decline since December 2022. Annual wage growth softened slightly but remained elevated at 5.3 per cent.

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