August 15, 2014 9:15 am

Corrected job numbers pushes Sask. unemployment rate down to 3.2%

Corrected July job numbers from Statistics Canada pushes Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate even lower than previously reported.

OTTAWA – Corrected July job numbers released Friday by Statistics Canada has pushed Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate down slightly.

Last week, the agency reported 500 new jobs were created in Saskatchewan during July – a number that was revised by the correction to 2,500 new jobs, all full-time positions.

That pushed the unemployment rate down to 3.2 per cent in July from the previously reported 3.3 per cent, down 0.7 percentage points from the previous month.

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It is an all-time low for the province since comparable data became available in 1976.

StatsCan still says the drop in the unemployment rate is due to a decline in the number of people looking for work.

The reputation of Canada’s statistical agency took a serious blow Friday with the release of a corrected July jobs report showing the Canadian economy actually gained almost 42,000 jobs last month – nowhere near the paltry 200 it wrongly reported a week ago.

Statistics Canada blamed the botched numbers on an overhaul of its market-moving Labour Force Survey, an exercise it undertakes every 10 years.

One of the programs wasn’t updated during the redesign – a mistake the agency chalks up to human error – resulting in the number of full-time job losses being overstated.

The mistake did not change Canada’s unemployment rate, which stays at 7.0 per cent in July, down a tenth of a point from the previous month.

With files from The Canadian Press

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