OTTAWA (NEWS1130) – The Canadian economy churned out an additional 21,600 jobs last month, the most since August, although almost all the new workers were part-time and the unemployment rate was unchanged.
The headline increase in employment was almost twice the 12,000 that economists had expected, but the details were unlikely to persuade markets that Canada’s economy shifted to a higher gear in November.
Along with the overwhelming preponderance of part-time jobs, most of the gains came in the less desirable self-employment class. Employers only added 2,500 full- and part-time workers.
However, in BC, it was another weak month of employment; in November, this province lost 8,300 positions on a seasonally adjusted basis. Statistics Canada says the BC unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a point to 6.7 per cent.
The agency noted that even with the bigger than expected gain last month, job creation in Canada has settled at an average 13,400 per month so far into 2013, compared to an average of 25,400 for the same 11-month period in 2012.
Analysts believe the economy needs to create close to 20,000 new jobs each month just to keep up with the growth in the labour force, so the pickup this year suggests an economy that is growing, but below potential, a view that is shared by the Bank of Canada.
Earlier this week, the central bank maintained its accommodative one per cent interest rate pointing out that the persistently low inflation rate in the country suggested continued and significant economic slack.
Meanwhile, In the US, the unemployment rate fell to a five-year low of seven per cent in November as employers added 203,000 jobs in the month, according to the US Department of Labor.