Canada cranked out 59,000 new jobs in November as an increase in full-time work helped push the unemployment rate down 0.2 percentage points to 7.2 per cent, according to statistics released today.

Statistics Canada said Friday there were job gains in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island.

There was little change in the other provinces.

Much of the job gains came from the private sector, because public-sector jobs and the number of self employed people were basically unchanged.

Manufacturing job losses

The strong jobs number beat economists' expectations by a long shot, and was a big rebound from a flat showing the previous month.

The decline in the jobless rate was especially significant, as Canada's unemployment rate had been stagnating at around 7.4 per cent for a few months.

The unemployment rate dropped because the 59,000 new jobs number was large enough to offset the 19,000 new workers who entered the workforce during the month.

Within the numbers, the food service, retail and agricultural sectors saw strong gains, whereas the manufacturing sector shrank, continuing its long-term trend.

"Construction jobs fell 8,000 and are down about 16,000 [from] year-ago levels, which is a slight warning sign on where the housing debate is going," Scotiabank economist Derek Holt noted.