The Canadian economy added eight times more jobs than expected last month, Statistics Canada reported Friday.
The data agency’s monthly Labour Force Survey said Canada gained 80,000 jobs in November, while the jobless rate ticked down four tenths of a percentage point to 5.9 per cent — the lowest since February 2008.
It was also the biggest addition of jobs in a single month since April 2012, when the economy was rebounding out of recession.
All in all, Canada’s economy has added 441,000 full-time jobs in the past year. Almost 30,000 of the new jobs in November were full-time. The rest were part-time.
The Canadian dollar jumped almost a penny on the news. It was changing hands at 78.37 cents US within minutes of the release of the jobs numbers.
More than half the new jobs were in Ontario, but British Columbia, Quebec and Prince Edward Island also saw decent gains. New Brunswick lost about 2,700 jobs during the month. Everywhere else, the jobs figures basically stood still.
By sector, trade and education led the way on the service side, adding 38,800, and 20,700 new jobs, respectively. The construction industry added 16,200 jobs, and manufacturing added 30,400.
November’s strong showing comes on the heels of a decent October, when the economy gained 35,000 jobs. Karl Schamotta, strategist at Cambridge Global Payments, said in a note to clients after the numbers came out that “this is the largest two-month gain in full-time employment since the early eighties (at least).”
“The Canadian economy continues to grow and add jobs at a blistering pace — seemingly putting the country’s central bank on course to raise rates at least once in the early new year.”