Ontario losses drive national jobless rate up

Canada's unemployment rate rose to 6.3 per cent in November from 6.2 per cent in October as the economy lost 70,600 jobs.

Nova Scotia only other province with losses

The big job loss in November was virtually all in Ontario, Statistics Canada reported Friday in releasing numbers showing the national unemployment rate edged up slightly to 6.3 per cent from 6.2 per cent in October.

Of the total of 70,600 jobs lost during the month, 66,000 were in Ontario, the agency said. Nova Scotia was the only other province that reported a drop in November. In every other province, the employment picture was stable or brightened.

"The manufacturing sector was hard hit in November," Statistics Canada said, indicating the sector lost 38,000 jobs; Ontario manufacturing lost 42,000, but gains elsewhere reduced the national drop.

In Ontario, full-time workers and men 25 and over were most affected. The provincial unemployment rate jumped to 7.1 per cent  in November from 6.5 per cent  in October.

Ontario's rate is now on par with Quebec's. All provinces east of Quebec have higher rates, while all the provinces west of Ontario have a rate under five per cent.

The federal election in October boosted employment, but those jobs ended, contributing to a drop of 27,000 among public administration workers in November.

Despite the losses in November, employment in Ontario is up by 0.5 per cent over the first 11 months of 2008.

Nationally, employment in the year to date is up by 0.8 per cent, an addition of 133,000 people.

In November, the average hourly wage was up 4.6  per cent over the past year.