Canadian Employment Data Is “Odd,” and Curiously Doesn’t Match Reality: BMO

One of Canada’s top economists found the latest employment numbers “odd.” BMO chief economist Douglas Porter’s latest research note looked at employment data. Statistics Canada (Stat Can) data shows April payrolls rising, but employment falling. The agency attributed these conflicting trends to a lag in payroll, which they say is typical. Porter pulled the receipts and failed to find this behavior in prior months of data.

Canadian Payroll and Employment Data Are Showing Divergent Trends

The Canadian economy experienced a few setbacks in April, but they didn’t show up in payroll data. Payroll employment increased 167,000 (+1.0%) in April, despite renewed lockdowns. Labour Force Survey (LFS) employment shows a loss of 207,000 jobs for the same period. Both numbers show conflicting trends. Things appear to be getting better in the former, and rolling back in the latter.

“Do you feel our pain now, when we try to estimate monthly moves in Canadian employment?” wrote Kavcic. Adding, “the two StatsCan surveys can’t agree on the sign or even get within 2% of each other!” 

BMO Can’t Find Evidence A Lag Occured Prior

The agency attributes the divergence to the difference in what they measure. Payroll employment is the number of people receiving a paycheque. This can happen after people are laid off. The LFS survey measures employment in real-time. They say payrolls are delayed by a month in volatile conditions like the pandemic.

“StatsCan explained the gap away by suggesting payrolls lag the LFS. The issue there is that over the past year, there has been no such lag between the two,” he said. 

They also shared a chart showing little to no divergence until the most recent numbers. 

“The bigger curiosity is that the jobs bounce now lifts both surveys into firmer terrain than U.S. employment, despite a much heavier GDP decline in Canada. In the most recent month available, the Canadian LFS is now down 3.0% from its prior peak, SEPH is -4.5%, and U.S. payrolls -5.0%. Odd.” 

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  • Cto 3 years ago

    Canadian agencies.
    Even top bank economist seem to smell a rat! With our own government wings and agencies no less…
    Is there significant pressure coming from somewhere to influence them into painting rainbows and sunshine.???

    • Trader Jim 3 years ago

      Bank economists have been getting increasingly more vocal about the pre-interpretation of data, that explains things that aren’t reflected in prior data.

      Like NBC calling out the Bank of Canada on “transitory” inflation, when in reality they didn’t have data to prove that, they just said they did.

  • J_Morrow 3 years ago

    This is called gaslighting, courtesy of the Government of Canada. Why? Because you’re supposed to have a worry-free-ish summer, all in thanks to the good, obedient majority getting their jabs, and not at all worried about the economy. The real data doesn’t matter because either the delta scariant, or a new scariant will be locking us all back up into the MMT economy by October, and blamed roundly on the 1 in 5 people sufficiently suspicious not to undergo experimental gene therapy just because Big Brother tells you it’s the right thing to do. If you haven’t already been jabbed, search for info about spike proteins on an uncensored media like Bitchute, and then thank God.

    • Trader Jim 3 years ago

      I don’t think the numbers are gaslighting, or wrong. Some people forget that statistics aren’t facts, they’re often inferred models based on sampling. Since these numbers are based on surveys and samples, it’s going to produce different results.

      The part where they try to explain away is a bit of gaslighting, for sure though. They should know better than to say it’s a lag and not a statistical anomaly.

      • Bob Walter 3 years ago

        I would then ask what an “inferred modeled salary slip” looks like.

        You either have a job and get paid for it, or you do not.

    • Cto 3 years ago

      I don’t think the Bank of Canada will ever raise interest rates. theyre already trying very hard to find reasons not to,….until the FED raises, and if they raise, then they,( boc ) will quack along like a duck, no matter what trudeu says…

      • J_Morrow 3 years ago

        Soon enough it isn’t going to matter what the BoC does. If/when stagflation sets in the commercial banks are going to further decouple from the bond market. If/when a loaf of bread is $15 the banks will not be referencing the national prime rate for loans anymore unless it’s relevant. They actually have to care about risk and profit.

  • Jason Chau 3 years ago

    It dumbfounds me that we still use surveys when they collect the actual data as well. Should we check the data we collected? Nah, just look at the surveys, and then project it.

  • RecruiterMan 3 years ago

    I am no economist but I do work in the staffing/recruitment business. Based on my observations as well as every single one of my peers across the continent, the job market is boiling over for all professional fields. It is a war for talent and I do see salaries getting pushed up as candidates call the shots.

  • Bankster 3 years ago

    Well, I know many well paid tech workers in the financial industry switching jobs and getting offered 30+%. We are looking at divergence in income. Thats good, now we just need to increase the income of factory or service workers.

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