Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Surprising 59,300 Job Gain Sends Encouraging Signal for Canadian Economy

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Surprising 59,300 Job Gain Sends Encouraging Signal for Canadian Economy

Article excerpt

Canada creates 59,300 jobs in November


OTTAWA - Canada's economy showed surprising bounce last month, churning out an impressive 59,300 jobs and dropping the unemployment rate two-tenths of a point to 7.2 per cent.

The report from Statistics Canada on Friday was among the strongest of the year, not only in terms of job creation, but also in the type of jobs -- almost all the gains were in full-time employment and in the private sector. As well, hours worked increased 0.2 per cent in November.

Prior to the early morning release, markets and economists had looked for modest gains of about 10,000 workers, in line with a weak summer that produced the worst quarter for gross domestic product growth in over a year; the anemic 0.6 per cent advance during the July-September period.

Instead, the month turned into the second most productive of the year on the job front, only bested by March's outsized 82,000 jobs increase.

"The bottom line is the Canadian economy is not quite as weak as some of the recent indicators had suggested. It's very encouraging," said Doug Porter, deputy chief economist with the Bank of Montreal.

"On a stand-alone basis, this was one of the best job gains we've seen in the year and the unemployment rate has matched its cycle low. Even in the structure of the jobs, they're mostly full-time, they're mostly in the private sector."

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty noted the jobless rate equals the lowest level since the 2008-09 recession, a level also met in June.

"As I say, this augers well for jobs, growth and prosperity in Canada," he told the Commons.

Canada's dollar moved up smartly on the news, gaining a quarter of a cent against the U.S. dollar to about 101.14 cents US shortly after the announcement.

The currency was also helped by a simultaneous U.S. jobs report, which saw a 146,000 employment pick-up in November, and the unemployment rate fall to 7.7 per cent, the lowest in almost four years. The U.S. report was not as positive as it first appeared, however, because the Labour Department also revised downward the previous two months by 49,000 jobs.

Still, economists were encouraged that in both countries, the labour market is showing signs of resisting the considerable headwinds from Europe, and confidence-sapping political squabbling in Washington over budget issues. …

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