OTTAWA (Reuters) — Canada unexpectedly lost 700 jobs in June but the unemployment rate dipped to an 11-month low of 6.8 per cent as the number of people seeking work fell, Statistics Canada data indicated on Friday.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a gain of 5,000 positions, and expected the jobless rate to rise to seven per cent from 6.9 percent in May. The unemployment rate last hit 6.8 per cent in July 2015.
Canada's economy is struggling to adjust to weak oil prices that have depressed demand and led to layoffs in the energy industry. The labour participation rate dropped to 65.5 per cent, the lowest since December 1999.
Full-time positions dropped by 40,100 while part-time jobs rose by 39,400. The construction and manufacturing sectors lost 28,700 and 12,900 jobs respectively while accommodation and food services grew by 20,200 positions.
In the 12 months to June, the number of people employed edged up by 107,600, or 0.6 per cent, with the majority of gains in part-time work. The six-month average for employment growth was 7,300 jobs, down from 11,200 in May.