U.S. payroll firm challenges Statistics Canada with alternative employment data


TORONTO — An inaugural private-sector Canadian jobs report calculates that the economy actually shed jobs last month, contrary to the sizable gain reported by Statistics Canada.

The Canada National Employment Report from ADP — a U.S.-based payroll processor known for releasing jobs data ahead of the American government — estimates that 5,700 payroll jobs were lost in October.

That’s a big difference from the 35,300 jobs that Statistics Canada suggests were added in October, according to the Labour Force Survey of about 56,000 households — one of the major sources of data used by economists.

Ahu Yildirmaz, who co-heads ADP’s research arm, says its information is more accurate because it’s based on actual payroll information from about 40,000 employers with 2.2 million employees in Canada.

She thinks ADP’s new monthly report for Canada will fill an important gap, since StatCan’s own report on payrolls for October won’t be issued until Dec. 20 — nearly six weeks after ADP’s flagship jobs report.

Two of Canada’s most prominent private-sector economists — Doug Porter of BMO Financial Group and Avery Shenfeld of CIBC — say additional labour data is welcome but don’t expect ADP to replicate the prominent position it has in the United States.

David Paddon, The Canadian Press