Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Forex Preview: Canada’s Jobs Report

If you’re looking for a likely catalyst for the Loonie after the OPEC meeting, then just know that Canada will be releasing its jobs report this Friday (Dec. 2, 1:30 pm GMT). And if you need to get up to speed on what happened last time and what economists are expecting this time, then today’s write-up will help you out.

What happened last time?

  • Jobless rate: steady at 7.0% as expected
  • Net employment change: +43.9K vs. -10.0K expected, +67.2K previous
  • Labor force participation rate: ticked higher from 65.7% to 65.8%
I wrote in an earlier article that with regard to Canada’s October jobs report, economists “seem to have streaks when it comes to forecasting.” I also noted that “in the past few years, economists have been underestimating their forecasts, which is why the actual readings has been coming in better-than-expected.”
Well, it turns out that economists underestimated their seasonally-adjusted forecast again, since net employment in October came in at +43.9K. This is obviously better than the expected net loss of 10K jobs.

True, the headline number looks awesome, but delving into the details does reveal some weakness. To be more specific, full-time employment actually suffered a net loss of 23.1K jobs, which is the first loss in full-time jobs after two straight months of increases. The fall in full-time jobs was offset by the 67.1K increase in part-time jobs, though, which is why net employment still printed an increase.
Looking at the other indicators, the jobless rate held steady at 7.0% for the third month in a row. And it’s apparently a healthy sign, since the labor force actually increased by 149.3K to 19,525.7K, which then caused the labor force participation rate actually ticked higher from 65.7% to a six-month high of 65.8%. This means that despite the influx of workers who joined (or rejoined) the labor force, the Canadian economy was able to absorb them, which is good. However, the fact that all of the job gains were part-time jobs removes some of the shine from the Canadian economy.
Overall, the jobs report was pretty positive, with the exception of the loss of full-time jobs of course. As such, the initial reaction was to try and buy up the Loonie. Unfortunately for Loonie bulls, the release of Canada’s jobs report coincided with news that Saudi Arabia and Iran were butting heads again, which sent oil prices tumbling very hard. In the process, the Loonie also got weakened and lost ground to its forex rivals.

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