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Canada adds 34.5K jobs, unemployment rate dips to 5.5%

Canada's goods-producing sector added 49,100 positions, almost half of which were in manufacturing, Statistics Canada said on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020.
Canada's goods-producing sector added 49,100 positions, almost half of which were in manufacturing, Statistics Canada said on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Canada added 34,500 jobs in January, more than twice the number markets were expecting, and the unemployment rate dipped to a near record low 5.5 per cent, Statistics Canada data indicated on Friday.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a gain of 15,000 positions and for the jobless rate to stay at 5.6 per cent.
CANADIAN UNEMPLOYMENT

All the gains were in full-time jobs, said Statscan. The goods-producing sector added 49,100 positions — almost half of them in manufacturing — while the service sector shed 14,500.

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The hourly wages for permanent employees — a number closely watched by the Bank of Canada — rose by 4.4 per cent compared with January 2019 and were up from 3.8 per cent in December.

READ MORE: Canada’s November GDP edges up 0.1%, offsetting most of October’s decline

The central bank has held its key interest rate steady since October 2018 but said last month a cut was possible if a recent slowdown in domestic growth persisted.