Published: Sat, January 06, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Canada's Unemployment Rate Declines to Lowest in Four Decades

Canada's Unemployment Rate Declines to Lowest in Four Decades

The region finished the year with 4.6 per cent unemployment in December, down from 10.5 per cent at the end of 2016 and the start of the year, according to Statistic Canada's Labour Force Survey released January 5. The city lost 400 jobs with its employed workforce falling from 64,500 in November to 64,100 in December.

Provincially, BC's unemployment rate remains the lowest in Canada at 4.6%.

The year-over-year numbers favour Moncton as well. The work force last December included 2.32 million workers compared with 2.27 in December 2016.

The Canadian dollar strengthened against its USA counterpart on Thursday, extending a 2-1/2-month high, as the greenback fell broadly and oil prices rose, while investors awaited US and Canadian jobs data on Friday. A year ago, unemployment sat at 8.5 per cent in Alberta.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, whose new year's resolutions likely include efforts to change the channel following a tumultuous political year he'd probably prefer to forget, also made a point of highlighting the jobs data.

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The national picture was strong.

The unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in more than 40 years as the Canadian economy closed out a calendar year by pumping out 78,600 jobs, including 23,700 full-time jobs. According to the previous employment data series that ended in 1975, Canada had a jobless rate of 5.6 percent in November 1974.

"The gains in 2017 were nearly all in full-time work, and were mainly in health care and social assistance; construction; and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing", Stats Canada noted in its survey.

Official Canadian government employment statistics showed the number of unemployed fell sharply in December to 5.7% from 5.9% previously - market analysts had mostly been expecting a rise to 6.0% or more instead.

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