Canada's jobless rate falls to 6.8%, 11,000 jobs created in November

Canada's jobless rate dipped in November to 6.8 per cent, as the economy created 10,700 jobs and fewer people looked for work, Statistics Canada says.

Youth joblessness remains high at 12.9% and many new jobs are part time

About 214,000 of the jobs created in the past year were part time, Statistics Canada said Friday, and youth unemployment remains high. (Mark Humphrey/Associated Press)

Canada's jobless rate dipped in November to 6.8 per cent, as the economy created 10,700 jobs and fewer people looked for work, Statistics Canada said Friday

After two months of unexpectedly high job creation numbers, November's results were more modest, but still enough to lower the unemployment rate from seven per cent the previous month.

Compared to a year earlier, there are 183,000 more jobs, but concern remains over the quality of employment, as most of the jobs created were part time, while the number of full-time jobs continues to erode.

The number of people working part time increased by 214,000 compared to a year earlier, while full-time work dipped by 30,000 jobs. The total number of hours worked rose 1.1 per cent and average wages were ahead by 1.5 per cent on an annual basis, generally lower than inflation.

Most new jobs in service sector

In Canada, most of the growth of jobs in November was in the service sector, including finance, real estate and leasing and agriculture. But there were fewer jobs in construction and manufacturing.

The jobless rates by province are:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador, 14.3 per cent, (down from 14.9 per cent).
  • Prince Edward Island, 10.8 per cent, (down from 11.7 per cent).
  • Nova Scotia, 8.0 per cent, (up from 7.6 per cent).
  • New Brunswick, 8.7 per cent, (down from 10 per cent).
  • Quebec, 6.2 per cent, (down from 6.8 per cent).
  • Ontario, 6.3 per cent, (down from 6.4 per cent).
  • Manitoba, 6.2 per cent, (down from 6.4 per cent).
  • Saskatchewan, 6.8 per cent, (down from 6.9 per cent).
  • Alberta, 9.0 per cent, (up from 8.5 per cent).
  • British Columbia, 6.1 per cent, (down from 6.2 per cent).

The youth unemployment rate across the country remained at 12.9 per cent.

Arlene Kish, economist with IHS Global Insight, called the job performance "mediocre," pointing to the predominance in part-time jobs.

"Underscoring our previous view, Canada's job market is not reflecting a solid upturn in business confidence or super strong economic growth. There is still some degree of uncertainty in the economy," she said.

U.S. creates 178,000 jobs

"However, without a major shock to the economy, it looks like the worst is behind us. The federal government's stimulus spending should lead to stronger job growth starting next year."

In the U.S., figures also released Friday show the unemployment rate is at a nine-year low of 4.6 per cent, part of a recovery that has been building since the spring. 

U.S. employers added a solid 178,000 jobs in November, but economists point to the poor performance on wages, which have barely edged upwards despite an expanding economy. Like Canada, the U.S. is seeing more part-time, low-wage jobs created than full-time jobs.