Unemployment rate down after country adds 54000 jobs in September, StatCan says

1,500 jobs lost, but unemployment rate declines in September

There were 200 fewer people working in Northeast B.C.in September, pushing the region's unemployment rate up to 6.2%.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.5 per cent, just one-tenth above the four-decade low hit earlier this year, and down from 5.7 per cent in August.

Nationally, the numbers surpassed analysts' expectations of a gain of 10,000 jobs, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv, after an August jump of 81,000.

The monthly labour force report released on Friday showed the province lost 3,100 full-time jobs and gained 1,700 part-time jobs.

But past year there were more people working in a larger labour force, with 40,100 people employed in a pool of 42,500. Growth in employment is only slightly ahead of the increase in the size of the labour force over the past 12 months, at 2.1 per cent.

There are 456,000 more jobs in Canada than a year ago, bringing employment up 2.4 per cent.

"Canada's labour market has really been on a tear over the past year - job growth has been very strong", said Josh Nye, senior economist with RBC Economics. "Wage growth was really the missing ingredient in what looked like a pretty strong labour market backdrop past year". More health-care sector and education workers drove overall job gains. Private sector jobs dropped by 21,000, with continued weakness in goods-producing industries.

BMO chief economist Doug Porter said that despite the rock-solid growth in job numbers over the last year, the broader economy remains lacklustre with year-over-year GDP growth crawling along at 1.3 per cent. "Growth is still quite modest in this country, so we're not getting a whole lot of payback from those strong job gains", Porter said.

CIBC's Mr. Pollick noted that numerous sectors with the biggest job gains have also had the lowest capital spending relative to their historical norms - including the professional, scientific and technical services segment, which alone accounts for one-quarter of the job growth in the past year.

"Even so, the healthy job market, along with the rebounding housing market, further reduces the already low odds that the Bank of Canada will match recent Fed rate cuts anytime soon".

Most of the 54,000 jobs created in the country came from Ontario, where employment rose by 41,000 in September, most of it in full-time jobs.

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