Photographer: Christinne Muschi/Bloomberg

Canada Jobless Rate Tumbles to Decade Low on Hiring Surge

Canada’s jobless rate plunged to the lowest in a decade in November on a surprise jump in hiring that defies a slowdown in the rest of the economy.

Unemployment fell to 5.9% last month from 6.3% in October, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa. The number of jobs increased by 79,500 in November, the largest monthly gain since April 2012. Employment grew across most industries led by manufacturing, retailing and education.


  • Both figures beat the consensus economist forecast for a 6.2% unemployment rate and 10,000 new jobs
  • Some of the strongest gains were in central Canada, with Quebec’s jobless rate of 5.4% the lowest in records back to 1976, and Ontario’s at the lowest since 2000 at 5.5%
  • The employment gain for November is the 12th straight, the longest since a 14-month span that ended in March 2007Household consumption increased by an annualized 4% versus estimates for below 3% growth

Big Picture

The strong labor market in the second half of the year is helping to offset a slump in exports that slowed growth in the third quarter. Another report Friday from Statistics Canada showed output growth faded to a 1.7% pace in the third quarter from 4.3% in the prior three months.

The fresh job numbers may also lead to a shift in view from the Bank of Canada over the extent of slack in the labor market.

Other Details

• Manufacturing employment rose by 30,400 in November, the retail and wholesale category climbed by 38,800 and educational services by 20,700

• Full-time employment increased by 29,600, while part-time positions rose by 49,900

• Average hourly earnings rose 2.8% in November from a year ago, up from 2.4% in October and the fastest since April 2016

• Hours worked rose by 1.0% in November from a year earlier, slowing from an October increase of 2.7% in October

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