OTTAWA: Canada’s unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 6.8 percent in November, as the economy added a modest 10,700 new jobs, Statistics Canada said Friday.
The lower unemployment rate came despite a slowdown in job creation and as there was an overall decline in the labor force. In October, 44,000 new jobs were added to the economy, and 27,600 more Canadians were looking for work than last month.
The November figures exceeded expectations by economists, who had forecast unemployment would remain unchanged at 7 percent with no job creation.
Job growth was fastest in the services sector, especially in finance, insurance and real estate, but declined sharply in the manufacturing and construction sectors.
Most of the new jobs are part-time positions, as the economy lost 8,700 full-time jobs in the month. There also were 31,000 fewer self-employed workers than in October.
The private sector has created three times as many jobs as the public sector.
Employment grew mostly among men age 25 and older, while it dropped the most for women 55 and older.
The economy grew in the third quarter thanks to a rebound in exports, especially of oil and gas, with the Canadian gross domestic product growing at a 3.5 percent annual rate.
At the regional level, the western province of Alberta, hit in the spring by massive forest fires and a drop in oil production, lost 13,000 jobs last month, with the unemployment rate jumping 0.5 point to 9 percent.
On the other hand, Ontario, the country’s most populous province, saw a slight increase in jobs and a drop in the unemployment rate to 6.3 percent.
British Columbia had the lowest unemployment rate at 6.1 percent, followed by Quebec, where it was at its lowest level in 40 years at 6.2 percent.