Canada adds 11,200 jobs, unemployment rate dips to 5.8 pct

Jobless rate File

Jobless rate File

The unemployment rate in western Canada rose slightly last month.

It went from 7.3 per cent in September to 6.9 per cent in October, according to figures from Statistics Canada. This is the lowest since October 1998. The unemployment rate fell 0.1 per cent to 5.8 per cent, .

A year ago at the same time, the unemployment rate was 5.3 per cent.

Among provinces, Quebec added more than 9,000 jobs, Manitoba added 1,800, while Ontario and Saskatchewan added 2,500 each.

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Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a gain of 10,000 positions and for the jobless rate to remain at 5.9 per cent. July marked the last time the rate hit 5.8 per cent, equalling a 40-year-low.

Compared with 12 months earlier, national employment was up 1.1 per cent following the addition of 205,900 positions, including 173,000 full-time jobs.

The participation rate - the percentage of the population employed or actively looking for work - dropped from 67.6 per cent in October 2017 to 66.7 per cent in October 2018.

One data point that will be under the microscope by the Bank of Canada is wage growth, which slowed for its fifth straight month. Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake declined to 5.5 from 5.9 per cent. Edmonton dropped from 6.5 to 6.2 per cent. Calgary was unchanged at 8.2 per cent. It fell for the first time in five months to 61.1 per cent and continues to be one of the lowest in the country.

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