OTTAWA (Reuters) — Canada's economy created a net 200 jobs in July, far fewer than analysts had expected, in a further sign of how employment growth has stalled, Statistics Canada data indicated on Friday.
Analysts had forecast a gain of 20,000 jobs after the loss of 9,400 positions in June.
The unemployment rate dipped to seven per cent from 7.1 per cent because fewer people were looking for work. The labour force participation rate fell to 65.9 percent, the lowest level since October 2001.
Despite an economic recovery in the United States, Canada has struggled to boost employment. The year-over year employment gain in July was only 115,300 jobs, or 0.7 per cent, while the six-month moving average for employment growth dropped to 3,900 from 8,800 in June.
Part-time employment rose by 60,000 jobs last month, while full-time jobs fell by 59,700. The number of people working in construction dropped by 42,200 and employment in health care and social assistance was down by 28,500.
These losses were partly offset by 11,500 additional jobs in manufacturing and 32,100 more positions in educational services.
The data are unlikely to put any pressure on the Bank of Canada, which has kept its key interest rate at a near-record low since September 2010 and has said it will not consider a hike until the economy shows lasting signs of a recovery.