Business

Canada added 35,000 jobs in December, capping strong 2019 for employment

Canada's economy added 35,000 new jobs in December, bringing the total for the year 2019 as a whole to 320,000.

Unemployment rate falls to 5.6%

An excavator transfers high grade stockpiled minerals into a hauling truck at Agnico Eagle's Amaruq mine site in Nunavut last year. New data released Friday showed Canada's economy added 35,000 new jobs in December (Cole Burston/Bloomberg)

Canada's economy added 35,000 new jobs in December, bringing the total for the year 2019 as a whole to 320,000.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that most of the new jobs were added in Ontario and Quebec, which added 25,000 and 21,000 new jobs, respectively.

But strong job markets in those two provinces were offset somewhat by job losses in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Economists had been expecting the number to come in at around 25,000 new jobs total, so December's gain was slightly better than expected. It was also enough to nudge the jobless rate down three points to 5.6 per cent.

Rebound from November

The strong showing also comes on the heels of a big loss of 71,000 the previous month, which has stoked fears that an otherwise strong 2019 for jobs might end with a thud.

But December's figure means Canada's job market grew by 1.7 per cent in 2019. That's better than 2018's pace.

More to come

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