Canada jobless rate holds at 5.7pc despite employment uptick

Agence France-Press September 6, 2019

OTTAWA: Canada added 81,000 jobs in August, mostly part-time, after months of stagnant employment growth, the government reported Friday.

But the unemployment rate held steady at 5.7 percent as more people entered the labor force in search of work.

The bulk of the gains, according to Statistics Canada, were in eastern Ontario and Quebec, while the prairie provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan and New Brunswick on the Atlantic coast saw smaller gains.

More people were employed in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing; educational services; and in professional, scientific and technical services, while employment declined in business, building and other support services, it said.

More youths aged 15 to 24 and people aged 55 and over were also working in August.

Earlier this week the Bank of Canada held its key lending rate at 1.75 percent, saying it expects the Canadian economy to slow in the second half of the year.

A bump in domestic growth in the second quarter was likely temporary, it concluded, amid an outlook dampened by the China-US trade conflict.

“If the Bank of Canada was on the fence about cutting rates in October, today’s jobs numbers might be one further push towards standing pat,” commented CIBC analyst Avery Shenfeld in a research note, predicting that the central bank may look to cut rates in December at the earliest.

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