Canada creates 59,000 jobs

Canada's economy generated a surprisingly strong 59,300 new jobs last month, almost all full time and in the private sector, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The unexpectedly robust performance dropped the country's unemployment rate 0.2 points to 7.2 per cent, the lowest it has been since June.

The strength of the November report was a welcome surprise.

Economists had anticipated a modest about 10,000 net gain as the economy weathers considerable headwinds from abroad, notably Europe, the United States and China.

In the third quarter, Canada posted the weakest quarter of growth, 0.6 per cent, in more than a year and analysts expect only a modest bounce-back during the current fourth quarter.

Statistics Canada said with November's pick-up, employment gains in Canada have reached 294,000, mostly full-time, over the past 12 months, a relatively health outcome.

By industry, employment rose about 28,000 in the accommodation and food services industries, while retail and wholesale trade increased by about 25,000, and professional, scientific and technical services picked up 23,000.

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