Canada adds 79000 jobs in December, blowing past expectations

Canada adds 79000 jobs in December, blowing past expectations”

The unemployment rate in Alberta also fell, from 7.3 per cent of the workforce to 6.9 per cent, still higher than all but the Atlantic provinces.

Canada's unemployment rate plunged to the lowest in more than 40 years as the economy continues to add jobs at record levels.

The Canadian economy added nearly 80,000 jobs for the second month in a row in December on a surge in part-time employment, and the jobless rate dipped to a 41-year low of 5.7 per cent, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

"The Canadian data flow rung in the New Year with panache, with the jobs report for December stacking on another spectacular gain".

The decline comes as Montreal's employment rate rose from 63.0 per cent to 63.6 per cent.

The consensus of economists polled by Bloomberg last month was for an increase in April, with National Bank Financial already calling for a January move in that survey.

The jobless rate may be the lowest since 1974.

RBC economist Josh Nye said in a note to investors the jobs figures "further increase the odds that the BoC raises rates at their coming meeting" and confirmed in an interview the bank is also moving up its forecast.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that 6,100 part-time jobs were created during the month, offset by a loss of 1,100 full-time positions.

The three-month moving average is used to measure unemployment rates at the sub-provincial level and meant to control for the fact that these regions generally have smaller populations, resulting in smaller sample sizes that can be more variable.

The gains previous year were led by services with 290,300 new positions.

For 2017 as a whole, Canada added 423,000 jobs - an increase of 2.3 per cent compared to 2016, and the best pace of job growth since 2002.

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