OTTAWA (Reuters) — The Canadian economy unexpectedly added 53,700 new jobs in December, all of them full-time, while the unemployment rate edged up as more people sought work, Statistics Canada data indicated on Friday.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast no change in employment. The jobless rate rose to 6.9 per cent from 6.8 per cent in November.
Full-time employment, which had fallen in the previous two months, jumped by 81,300 jobs, the largest month-on-month gain since March 2012. Part-time employment dropped by 27,600.
In the 12 months to December, the number of people employed grew by 214,100, or 1.2 per cent. The six-month average for employment growth was 28,000 jobs, up from 19,300 in November.
The service sector gained 52,000 jobs, with much of the growth split among the professional, scientific and technical categories as well as healthcare. The goods-producing sector added 1,700 positions.
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