Canada jobless rate unchanged at 5.6 percent

Ottawa: The Canadian economy generated 9,300 new jobs in December while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.6 percent, a 42-year low, the national statistics institute said Friday.

“Employment held steady in December,” Statistics Canada said in a statement. That followed 94,000 net hires in November.

The 5.6 percent unemployment rate is the lowest since 1976 when comparable data were first kept.

In December, jobs were created in the manufacturing, transportation, warehousing and health and social assistance sectors, while the retail and public administration saw job losses.

The positive data nevertheless contained signs of weakness in the Canadian economy, with economist noting that all new job growth was attributable to self-employment, and that there were fewer full-time jobs than the month before.

The private sector lost 20,000 jobs between November and December, and public sector employment was down by 17,000.

The total number of unemployed was up slightly to a bit more than 1.1 million people, while workforce participation in the labor market was unchanged at 65.4 percent.

In 2018, overall employment rose by 163,000 or 0.9 percent, a weaker pace of growth than in 2017 (2.3 percent) and 2016 (1.2 percent), according to Statistics Canada.


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