(Reuters) — Canada's economy generated a surprising number of jobs in June, contrasting with other signs that economic growth is starting to slow and keeping alive expectations of a central bank rate hike later this year.
Net employment gains in the month totaled 28,400, Statistics Canada said, compared with the 15,000 expected by markets. The unemployment rate held steady at 7.4 per cent as more people entered the labour market.
The strongest hiring took place in the transportation and warehousing industry, which has led employment gains in the past year. Employment was flat or little changed in manufacturing as well as in most other sectors with the exception of professional, scientific and technical services, which lost 19,200 workers.
Some other details of the report were less upbeat. Private business continued to lag behind the government in terms of hiring, despite the phasing out of government stimulus projects. Far more part-time jobs were created than full-time ones, although the 12-month trend has favoured full-time positions. Statscan said the majority of the jobs went to women in the 25-54 age group.
The data also suggest little pressure on inflation from wages, an indicator closely watched by the Bank of Canada. The annual rise in the average hourly wage of permanent employees fell to two per cent in June from 2.2 per cent in May, the lowest since October 2010.
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