Business

Canada adds a surprise 14,000 jobs in May

Canada's economy added 14,000 jobs in May, a better-than-expected number that pushed the unemployment rate down two points to 6.9 per cent.

Jobless rate inches down 0.2 percentage points to 6.9% on gains in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, P.E.I.

Canada's economy added 14,000 jobs in May, Statistics Canada reported Friday. (Lynne Sladky/Associated Press)

Canada's economy added 14,000 jobs in May, a better-than-expected number that pushed the unemployment rate down two points to 6.9 per cent, from 7.1 per cent in April.

The jobless rate is now at its lowest level since last July, Statistics Canada reported Friday.

Across the country, there were more jobs in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island, while they disappeared in Alberta and Nova Scotia.

Alberta lost more than 24,000 jobs during the month.

"While StatsCan doesn't explicitly chalk it up to the impact of the wildfire (they in fact claim to have substituted respondents from surrounding areas into the sample), one has to figure that it caused a significant chunk of these reported job losses in May," BMO economist Robert Kavcic said of the numbers.

"The good news is that Ontario and Quebec each posted strong 21,600 job gains in May, more than offsetting the weakness in Alberta."

Everywhere else, the employment level stayed about the same.

Economists polled by Bloomberg had been expecting a slight gain of fewer than 1,000 jobs for the month.

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