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Special Report

Canada Employment
Research Brief

March 2024

Employment Beats Expectations But Easing
Wage Growth is Promising for CRE Investors

Hiring activity continues at a healthy pace. Canada’s economy added 41,000 jobs in February, which was above consensus and marked the sixth consecutive monthly gain. Hiring was largely concentrated in the public sector, while private sector employment declined. Despite February’s strong job gains, the unemployment rate inched up 10 basis points to 5.8 per cent as heightened population growth caused the labour force to expand at a faster rate than hiring activity. This rise in unemployment came alongside a sharp decline in open positions as job vacancies were down roughly 25 per cent compared to last year’s level. As Canada’s labour market continues to rebalance, bargaining power is shifting away from workers, which caused wage growth to edge down to 5.0 per cent year over year in February, from 5.3 per cent in January.

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