Welcome to another chapter in the mystery of Canada’s jobs data.
Statistics Canada released payroll data Friday for the month of July, numbers that come nearly two months after the agency released the closely-watched labor force survey for that same month.
The labor force survey said Canada lost 39,400 jobs in July. But Friday’s payroll data painted quite a different picture, suggesting payrolls swelled by 60,300 in the month, led by strong hiring in the construction sector. That marks a swing of roughly 100,000 jobs.
The two pieces of data are quite different. The labor force survey, which gets the bulk of the attention, is based on a relatively small sample of 55,000 households. Statistics Canada says the survey’s main objective is to divide the working-age population into three groups — the employed, unemployed and those not participating in the labor force. It says the survey is also the official source for the country’s unemployment rate, which stands at 7.1% as of August.
Meanwhile, the payroll data are based on a combination of payroll deduction figures, as provided by Canada’s main tax agency, and a survey of 15,000 businesses.
Lately, economists have commented on the recent wild month-over-month swings in the labor force survey’s figures, with some questioning how accurate Canada’s employment data are.
“As a result of conceptual and methodological differences, estimates of changes from the [payroll data] and the labor force survey do differ from time to time. However, the trends in the data are quite similar,” says Statistics Canada in its release of the payroll data.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at