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Unemployment: 40 year-low

UPDATE 6:50 a.m.

A blast of 94,100 new jobs last month has knocked the country's unemployment rate down to 5.6 per cent — its lowest level since Statistics Canada started measuring comparable data more than 40 years ago.

The overall number marked the labour force survey's largest monthly increase since March 2012 when there was a gain of 94,000 jobs, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The November employment surge was fuelled by the addition of 89,900 full-time positions. For employee work, the private sector added 78,600 positions in November, while the public sector gained 8,300 jobs.

Last month's increase pushed the jobless rate down from October's reading of 5.8 per cent, which had been the previous low mark since comparable data first became available in 1976. The old statistical approach — prior to 1976 — registered an unemployment rate reading of 5.4 per cent in 1974.

But Friday's report also contained disappointing details.

Year-over-year average hourly wage growth for permanent employees continued its decline in November to 1.46 per cent — to deliver its weakest reading since July 2017.

Experts have been expecting wage growth to rise thanks to the tightened labour market, but it has dropped every month since its May peak of 3.9 per cent. It now sits well below inflation.


UPDATE 5:50 a.m.

The national unemployment rate was 5.6 per cent in November. Statistics Canada also released seasonally adjusted, three-month moving average unemployment rates for major cities. It cautions, however, that the figures may fluctuate widely because they are based on small statistical samples. Here are the jobless rates last month by city (numbers from the previous month in brackets):

— Kelowna, B.C. 3.9 (5.0)

— St. John's, N.L. 8.1 per cent (9.0)

— Halifax 6.2 (6.6)

— Moncton, N.B. 5.2 (5.8)

— Saint John, N.B. 5.7 (6.0)

— Saguenay, Que. 5.4 (5.7)

— Quebec 3.8 (3.9)

— Sherbrooke, Que. 5.4 (4.8)

— Trois-Rivieres, Que. 5.3 (4.9)

— Montreal 5.9 (5.9)

— Gatineau, Que. 4.6 (4.4)

— Ottawa 4.6 (4.7)

— Kingston, Ont. 5.5 (5.4)

— Peterborough, Ont. 5.2 (6.2)

— Oshawa, Ont. 5.7 (5.8)

— Toronto 6.2 (6.3)

— Hamilton, Ont. 4.7 (5.0)

— St. Catharines-Niagara, Ont. 7.0 (7.3)

— Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, Ont. 5.1 (5.2)

— Brantford, Ont. 7.0 (6.2)

— Guelph, Ont. 3.0 (3.3)

— London, Ont. 4.8 (4.9)

— Windsor, Ont. 6.0 (6.9)

— Barrie, Ont. 5.0 (5.2)

— Sudbury, Ont. 6.3 (6.0)

— Thunder Bay, Ont. 5.1 (5.3)

— Winnipeg 5.9 (6.1)

— Regina 6.4 (6.8)

— Saskatoon 6.1 (6.9)

— Calgary 7.9 (8.2)

— Edmonton 6.2 (6.3)

— Abbotsford, B.C. 4.6 (4.7)

— Vancouver 4.1 (4.3)

— Victoria 3.8 (3.9)


ORIGINAL 5:40 a.m.

Canada adds 94,100 jobs in November, far more than economists had expected. The national unemployment rate fell to 5.6 per cent, the lowest since Statistics Canada began collecting comparable data in 1976.

More coming



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