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Saskatchewan lost 4,600 jobs in September, says Statistics Canada. ((Chuck Stoody/Canadian Press))

Saskatchewan lost 4,600 jobs in September compared to August, but employment in the province is still up by 7,000 jobs in the past year, according to Statistics Canada.

The lost jobs pushed Saskatchewan's unemployment rate up 0.7 percentage points to 5.5 per cent - still the second lowest in Canada after Manitoba at 5.4 per cent and well below the national rate of 8.0 per cent.

Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey, released Friday, shows employment in Saskatchewan increased by 7,000 jobs (+1.3%) over the past 12 months. There were 528,100 people working in Saskatchewan in September 2010.

"Last month Saskatchewan set an all-time population record," Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration Minister Rob Norris said. "This month we set an all-time record for employment in the month of September."

Norris said that Aboriginal employment continued its recovery with a September increase of 1,400 — the fifth consecutive month of increases.

According to Statistics Canada, in September, there were employment declines in Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, while Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Nova Scotia posted gains.

Regina, 4.8 per cent, and Saskatoon, 5.5 per cent, continue to fare well among major Canadian cities, with the second and fourth lowest unemployment rates in the country.