Canadian unemployment hits lowest level in four years
The Canadian economy experienced its second month in a row of solid job creation with 40,000 new, mostly full-time jobs being created in December, according to the latest Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey. Many economists had been predicting modest if any job gains in December following the unexpected 60,000 new jobs added in November.
These job gains, the fourth increase in five months, bring the national unemployment rate down to 7.1%, the lowest it's been in four years. Over the year, employment in Canada grew by 1.8% or 312,000 full-time jobs.
This positive job creation news mirrors the results of Workopolis research. We recently surveyed senior executives from industries across the country and found that fully one third of Canadian companies are planning to increase their workforce over the next twelve months. Read the full report.
Ontario saw the greatest gains in December, with 33,000 new jobs created. Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island all also experienced increased employment last month.
While the number of jobs remained stagnant, unemployment crept up slightly in Alberta as more people started looking for jobs. Despite this increase, Alberta still has the lowest unemployment rate of all provinces at 4.5%.
There was little change in employment in New Brunswick Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia.
In December, there were 22,000 more people working in transportation and warehousing, and employment in construction was up by 18,000 jobs.
Following an increase the previous month, employment declined by 42,000 in professional, scientific and technical services in December. Jobs in public administration also declined last month with 13,000 fewer people working in this sector.
Over the year, the highest employment growth rates were seen in educational services (+8.5%); finance, insurance, real estate and leasing (+6.4%); business, building and other support services (+5.5%); manufacturing (+3.1%); and health care and social assistance (+2.9%).
Employment among younger workers from 15 to 24 years old remained unchanged last month. The unemployment rate for this group has hovered at around 14% for the past two years, and it was still at 14.1% in December.
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