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Trump Fails to Top Trudeau on Job Gains, Despite Rhetoric

Shelly Hagan

(Bloomberg) -- Canada’s labor market may look weak against a blockbuster U.S. employment report on Friday but in fact both nations have added jobs at the same pace since President Donald Trump took office.

The U.S. economy has added 4.5% more jobs since January 2017 when Trump was inaugurated president. Canadian employment increased at the same rate over that period under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The most recent jobs data on Friday shocked markets. While the U.S. added 266,000 jobs, Canada shed 71,200. The dichotomy between the reports prompted Donald Trump, Jr. to call out Canada’s weakness.

Though the two country’s jobs data aren’t completely comparable, Bank of Nova Scotia economist Derek Holt was quick to highlight the similar pace of growth between the two North American nations. Looking at other measures such as wage gains, job creation and the labor-force participation rate since November 2016, Canada has outperformed the U.S., he wrote.

“When it comes to assessing which country has had the strongest job growth since the U.S. election and who has the stronger overall labor market since the U.S. political rhetoric began heating up after the November 2016 election, a cross-section of evidence hands the first place trophy to Canada,” Holt said.

However, Holt acknowledged Canada’s weak signals of late. The nation posted soft back-to-back monthly jobs reports and weak third-quarter output, among other indicators.

While the Trump administration and Trudeau’s Liberals have taken credit for the robust labor market in their respective countries, they’re likely to face challenging times.

Michael Bloomberg is seeking the U.S. Democratic presidential nomination. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

--With assistance from Katia Dmitrieva and Erik Hertzberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shelly Hagan in ottawa at shagan9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Theophilos Argitis at targitis@bloomberg.net, Jacqueline Thorpe, Chris Fournier

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