OTTAWA (CP) — Statistics Canada says the economy created about 21,600 new jobs last month, although almost all the additions were part-time and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.9 per cent.
The bottom-line increase in employment was almost twice the 12,000 that analysts expected, although the composition of the new jobs suggests it's unlikely that the economy shifted to a higher gear.
Along with the overwhelming preponderance of part-time jobs, employers added only 2,500 to their workforce during the month, the rest of the gains coming in the less desirable self-employment class.
The bright spot in the report is that there were 51,000 more jobs in the private sector, compared with a drop of 29,000 in the government sector.
As well, Statistics Canada says employment in the troubled and key manufacturing sector rose by 24,600, although factory jobs are still down 44,000 from a year ago.
Regionally, the agency says only Alberta had a significant increase in job creation relative to its population with a pickup of about 11,000, while Newfoundland and Labrador lost about 2,600 workers.