Dramatic rise in Canadian employment may affect interest rates

Dramatic rise in Canadian employment may affect interest rates: HSBC report

Credit: Courtesy HSBC

HSBC headquarters, London

Record-breaking employment increases much higher than expected: HSBC report

Canadian employment surged by 78,600 in December, defying general expectations that the economy would add just 2,000 jobs, according to a recent Global Research report by HSBC Global Securities Inc. Many of the positions were part-time (54,900), and most of the increase was in the services sector (72,600), with gains in finance, insurance, real estate, education and others. For 2017 overall, employment climbed by 422,500, making it the best year for job creation since 2002, especially in terms of full-time positions, which rose by 394,200, the largest increase since 1999.

As the unemployment rate continued to decline and wage growth picked up speed in 2017, the Canadian dollar gained strength, leading HSBC economist David Watt to predict that the Bank of Canada will raise its policy rate. The market now places a more than 69-percent probability of a rate hike this month and more than 90-percent likelihood in March. HSBC expects a rate increase from the BoC in April.