Unemployment rate ticks up to 6.6% as job market sputters in November

WATCH: The head of the Bank of Canada has adjusted his forecast for economic growth, after a convergence of events that seem to be conspiring against the Canadian economy —including the falling price of oil. Vassy Kapelos explains.

The country’s labour market is taking a breather following back-to-back months of surprising gains in September and October.

Statistics Canada said Friday roughly 11,000 jobs were shed last month, pushing up the jobless rate.

The November reading sent the unemployment rate higher by a tenth of a percentage point, to 6.6 per cent. The uptick was largely expected by economists who were anticipating some give-back following the mini-jobs boom.

The net fall in jobs in November was worse than expected, with most estimates calling for the monthly tally to come in flat.

The jobless rate had fallen by half a percentage point in September and October when more than 100,000 jobs were added to the economy.

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“All in all, despite the relatively modest drop in employment for November, Canada’s labour market still appears to be on better footing heading into the end of the year,” CIBC economist Nick Exarhos said.

MORE: Canadian labour market hits ‘higher gear’ as jobless rate tumbles

U.S. payrolls, meanwhile, boomed in November, adding 321,000 jobs in the strongest month of hiring since January 2012. The U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 per cent.

The world’s largest economy — and Canada’s biggest trading partner by far — is on pace to post its best annual job growth since 1999.


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