OTTAWA - A new Statistics Canada employment survey has cast a cloud over its previously-announced large pick-up in jobs in November.
The delayed survey of industry released Thursday found that employers shed 33,800 net jobs in November.
Last month, Statistics Canada, reporting on a survey of Canadian households, found employers added 111,000 jobs in November - a number that shocked many economists and seemed to signal the advent of a strong economic rebound.
That data indicated an actual net gain of 79,000 jobs because of a drop in the number of self-employed.
This is the second time in four months that the two surveys - which use different methodologies - have shown such a pronounced disparity.
Economists say that over time the two surveys even out, but some suggest that the industry estimate likely more accurately reflects the current underlying weakness in Canada's labour market.
The industry survey also most closely resembles the U.S. non-farm payroll data used to calculate unemployment south of the border.
Bank of Montreal economist Michael Gregory also pointed out that the household survey "gave back" a little - 9,000 - of the outsized November jobs gain the following month, presenting a flatter picture of the labour market over the two months.
Another sign that good jobs are still scarce is that average employee weekly earnings rose a mere 1.3 per cent in November from a year earlier, just barely above inflation.
In recession-sensitive industries such as manufacturing and construction, weekly earnings were lower than in November 2008 - down 1.4 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively.