Canada Jobless Rate Stays 6.9% on Part-Time Work Gain

Canada’s jobless rate held at the lowest since 2008 for a third month in November as employers added part-time workers.

Employment rose by 21,600 and the jobless rate remained 6.9 percent, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a 12,000 job increase and an unchanged unemployment rate according to median forecasts.

The decline in unemployment that began in 2009 has stalled, with average monthly job gains slowing to 13,400 so far in 2013 from 25,400 in the same period last year. Companies are holding back on investment during a period of modest global demand, and the Bank of Canada kept its key interest rate at 1 percent this week, citing significant slack in the economy.

Almost all of the jobs added in November came from 20,000 part-time positions, while full-time employment increased 1,400, Statistics Canada said. So far this year, part-time employment has accounted for 46 percent of all job gains, while in the same period last year, 99 percent of jobs created were full-time.

The labor force participation rate remained at the lowest in more than a decade for a third month in November at 66.4 percent.

By industry, the biggest increase was in the business, building and other support services category, which jumped by 31,200 in November. Manufacturing added 24,900 new jobs in November, while construction employment declined by 17,500.

The self-employed category increased by 19,100 in November, while workers designated by Statistics Canada as employees rose by 2,500.

Public Employment

Private companies added 31,400 workers in November while public-sector employment fell by 28,800.

Public administration work dropped by 17,700 positions in November. That industry has seen a 5.3 percent decline in employment over the past 12 months, Statistics Canada said.

Average hourly wages of permanent employees rose 2.3 percent in November from a year earlier, Statistics Canada said, exceeding the prior reading of 1.7 percent.

In a separate report, Statistics Canada today said that the nation’s labor productivity growth slowed to 0.2 percent in the third quarter from a revised 0.4 percent in the previous three months. The rate was expected to rise 0.3 percent according to the median of seven estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

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