Canadian employment rose almost six times faster than economists forecast in November, countering recent signs of slowing economic growth.
The increase of 59,300 lowered the unemployment rate to 7.2 percent from 7.4 percent, the first decline in five months, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a 10,000 gain in jobs and 7.4 percent unemployment, according to median forecasts.
The Canadian dollar rose to a one-month high after the report, which came three days after Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney kept in place the Group of Seven’s only bias to raise interest rates, citing an economy approaching full output. The biggest job gain since March follows reports showing drops in exports, investment and home resales.
“After a wave of unsettling numbers in Canada it’s a relief to get a strong report and on an important indicator,” Doug Porter, deputy chief economist with BMO Capital Markets in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. The figures will leave Bank of Canada officials “comfortable sticking with their hiking bias,” he said.
The Canadian dollar gained 0.3 percent to 98.86 cents per U.S. dollar at 10:25 a.m. in Toronto after declining as much as 0.2 percent. It touched 98.77, the highest level since Nov. 7. One Canadian dollar buys $1.0115. Investors erased almost all bets on a central bank rate cut next year.
Full-time employment rose by 55,200 in November and part- time positions increased 4,100, Statistics Canada said. Private companies added 48,200 workers and public-sector employment climbed 5,400.
By industry, accommodation and food services led the increase with 28,300 new jobs in November, followed by retail and wholesale with 25,300 positions. Professional, scientific and technical services rose by 22,800.
Enerkem Inc. said Oct. 24 it planned to hire about 30 workers to staff a new facility that will turn waste into biofuel near Edmonton, Alberta.
“With the decline in the unemployment rate it was unequivocally a good report,” said Mark Chandler, head of fixed-income strategy at Royal Bank of Canada’s Capital Markets unit in Toronto. “It’s going to be hard to keep up the same job machine” in coming months, he said.
Manufacturing employment dropped by 19,600 in November, Statistics Canada said, while transportation and warehousing declined by 13,600.
Workers designated by Statistics Canada as employees rose by 53,700 while the self-employed increased by 5,800 in November.
Average hourly earnings of permanent employees rose 2.2 percent in November from a year earlier, compared with a 3.9 percent in the prior month.
A separate report showed that labor productivity fell 0.5 percent the third quarter, as companies increased hours worked by 0.4 while output was little changed. Economists predicted the measure would fall 0.4 percent, based on the median of 10 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.
The U.S. Labor Department said today that employment climbed by 146,000, exceeding the median estimate of 91 economists surveyed by Bloomberg that called for a gain of 85,000. The unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008, as size of the labor force shrank.
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