Canada adds 11,000 jobs in July, jobless rate ticks down to 6.3%

Canada's economy added 11,000 jobs last month, in line with what economists had been expecting.

Fewer people looking for work pushes jobless rate down two ticks to 6.3%

Canada's jobless rate has dropped to its lowest level since 2008. (Larry MacDougal/Canadian Press)

Canada's economy added 11,000 jobs last month, in line with what economists had been expecting.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that the job market expanded in Ontario and Manitoba, but shrank in Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.

The economy added just over 35,000 full-time jobs during the month. Those gains were slightly offset by the loss of 24,300 part-time jobs.

While not many jobs were added overall, fewer people were looking for work, too, so that pushed the jobless rate down two percentage points to 6.3 per cent — the lowest level since October 2008, before the start of the financial crisis.

July's figure means the Canadian economy had added more than 387,000 jobs in the past 12 months. That's the strongest 12-month figure in a decade.

The job market expanded a little, and so did wages, which rose by 1.3 per cent in the past 12 months. Hours worked also ticked higher, up 0.6 per cent. 

TD Bank economist Brian DePratto said the jobs report was a bit of a mixed bag.

"Canada notched up an eighth straight month of job gains, but the details of the report were somewhat mixed," he said.

"The drop in the unemployment rate was led by fewer Canadians looking for work, although some solace can be taken in that the decline appeared to be led by younger and older individuals, as 'core' working age participation remained solid."

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Economist Benjamin Reitzes at BMO said he was encouraged by the increase in hours worked. "The employment report was decent overall, with the big gain in hours suggesting the economy had good momentum at the start of  the third quarter," he said.

About half of the sectors of the economy added jobs, while half lost. Employment in IT, retail and manufacturing expanded, while the education sector, public administration and agricultural sectors contracted.


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