The Financial Post reports in its Saturday edition that the most important number in Statistics Canada's monthly hiring roundups these days is wages. The Post's Kevin Carmichael writes that the agency said the average hourly wage increased 5.2 per cent from September, 2021, the fourth consecutive month wages have increased by more than 5 per cent from a year earlier. That is fast, says the Post, by historical standards, but not fast enough to match inflation, which is currently hovering near 7 per cent. The latest hiring data suggest the economy is cooling. Total hours worked, an important indicator of economic output, decreased 0.6 per cent from August, although it remained about 2 per cent higher than a year earlier. Still, some of the "excess demand" that so worries Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem is probably starting to seep into the ether. Year-over-year wage increases of 5 per cent will only strengthen the BOC's contention that conditions remain too hot. Central bankers believe there is a tight correlation between wage increases and inflation, and containing price increases is the BOC's paramount mission. Canada's labour market is about as tight as it has ever been. Expect the BOC to try to loosen it.
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