Unemployment rate edged lower in Montreal in November

Gladys Abbott
December 3, 2017

Canada's red-hot job market smashed all expectations in November, adding 80,000 jobs at a time when the experts predicted the economy would be slowing.

Nationally, a wave of job creation last month knocked the unemployment rate down to 5.9 per cent - its lowest level in almost a decade.

Manitoba's unemployment rate inched a little higher in November after the provincial economy shed a total of 2,500 jobs, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The consensus among economists had been for an increase of 10,000 jobs in November, and for the unemployment rate to reach 6.2 per cent.

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The last time the unemployment rate was 5.9 per cent was February 2008, before the global financial crisis. Another 2,100 were unemployed last month, according to Statistic Canada's labour force survey.

"The stellar jobs report should allow for a more two-way discussion about Bank of Canada policy, as, until now, the debate was largely about how much longer the bank would delay the next rate hike", said Sal Guatieri, economist at BMO Capital Markets. But the strong November jobs numbers, marking Canada's 12th straight month of positive job creation, stood out. "The Sask. Party's approach of cutting important programs and services and giving tax breaks to the wealthy and well-connected is doing nothing to create or even protect Saskatchewan jobs".

The figure was close to the 1.6 percent growth analysts were expecting, after a rate of 4.3 percent (revised down from 4.5 percent) was posted in the previous period.

Still, the central bank is expected to keep its policy rate unchanged at 1%, although TD Securities said a rate rise in January could now be in play.

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