Canada job numbers for August hit

The unemployment rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 7.0% in August, as more people searched for work, reported StatsCan Friday.

Prior to August, the unemployment rate had held steady at 6.8% for six consecutive months, but the rise for August actually came with significant upside.

There was an increase of 54,000 in full-time jobs, offset by a decline of 42,000 in part-time work. The numbers make it harder to forecast the Bank of Canada's next overnight rate decision, due next week. A weaker overall performance might have forced it to lower that benchmark to further spur economic growth.

The numbers may do little to address the question of whether Canada remains in recession.

Compared with 12 months earlier, employment was up by 193,000 or 1.1%. Over the same period, full-time work increased by 318,000 (+2.2%) while part time declined by 125,000 (-3.6%). At the same time, the total number of hours worked rose 2.1%. 

In August, employment increased among women aged 55 and older, while it edged down for men and women aged 25 to 54. There was little employment change among the other demographic groups.

Provincially, employment rose in Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba and New Brunswick. There was little change in the other provinces.

Employment increased in public administration and educational services, while it was little changed in the remaining industries.

The number of public sector employees was up in August, while self-employment edged down. At the same time, private sector employment was little changed.

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