Canada adds 43,100 jobs, unemployment drops to 6.5%
ABOVE: Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver talks jobs numbers, youth unemployment
OTTAWA – Canada’s latest labour-market survey says the economy generated 43,100 net new jobs in October and dropped the unemployment rate to 6.5 per cent, its lowest level since November 2008.
The Statistics Canada report Friday found the jobless rate fell 0.3 percentage points in October, compared with the previous month.
The gain followed an increase of 74,100 jobs for September and was the first time since December 2012 the roller-coaster jobs report recorded two consecutive months of employment growth, the agency said.
Economists had predicted the economy to lose 5,000 jobs in October and for the unemployment rate to remain unchanged, according to Thomson Reuters.
Finance Minister Joe Oliver took the unusual step of holding a news conference to discuss the results, an hour after the numbers were made public.
“Our plans for jobs and growth is working in spite of a fragile international economic environment,” Oliver told reporters in Toronto.
“As I said before, we don’t rely on one single month but when we have two months … then of course you start to see a trend, which is very positive.”
The report found employment was up one per cent from a year ago, with the increases of the past two months making up about two-thirds of that boost.
Provincially, the survey listed job gains in Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, while employment decreased in New Brunswick. Other provinces saw only marginal changes in employment.
In the manufacturing sector, there were 33,200 more jobs in October compared to the previous month, and the industry saw a two per cent increase from a year ago.
Meanwhile, the survey said the natural resources sector shed 22,200 jobs in October, delivering a 6.2 per cent decline in the industry over the last 12 months.
Statistics Canada found that October’s youth unemployment rate fell 0.9 percentage points to 12.6 per cent, as fewer young people searched for work. However, the report said on a year-over-year basis, youth employment was up by 39,000 positions, or 1.6 per cent.
Oliver thought the data on young people, those aged 15 to 24 years old, showed promise.
“We’re looking for permanent jobs for youth and we’re very encouraged by the latest numbers,” he said.
– With files from Linda Nguyen in Toronto
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