Don't believe the latest Canadian job growth number: David Rosenberg
A loss of 7,200 jobs in March, and then a gain of 106,500 jobs in April. For David Rosenberg, Canada’s latest employment data just doesn't add up.
Statistics Canada said Friday that Canadian employment increased by 106,500 positions in April, the biggest one-month increase in data going back to 1976. The country's jobless rate fell to 5.7 per cent, compared to 5.8 per cent in March.
But Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff + Associates, says the country's latest jobs numbers are hard to believe, given what's happening in the Canadian economy.
"Did you really believe that the Canadian labour market is so volatile that we could have a [7,200] decline in the labour force in one month, followed by an 100,000-increase in the next month? Is our labour market more volatile than the stock market is? It's hard to believe," Rosenberg said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg Friday.
"Somehow we're creating record jobs and in the same survey in the United States, they're losing jobs in a significant way. So what I'm trying to say is, calm down a little bit. There's no way that the Canadian economy is nearly as strong as this number would lead you to suggest."
Rosenberg took issue with a few details in StatsCan's labour force survey, pointing to how most of the job gains were concentrated among youth, and in sectors such as construction and retail.
"I thought we were battling a housing bubble in this country," Rosenberg said. "Meanwhile, we know that consumers are going on the debt treadmill and doing more to repair their balance sheets than head out to the shopping malls."
Rosenberg, who has been known for his bearish views on Bay Street, questioned any cheering of the April labour figures.
"It’s like you’re a teacher in high school and your dumbest student just handed in an 'A' report and you just don’t really know what to do with it," Rosenberg said. "I don't give it an 'A' by the way."