Canada’s unemployment decreases to 7.1 per cent in September

Lowest unemployment rated since December 2008

The rate of unemployment in Canada decreased to 7.1 per cent in September 2011, edging down 0.2 percentage points, according to Statistics Canada. This is the lowest Canada's unemployment rate has been since December 2008.

The economy gained 61,000 jobs last month. Full-time employment was up by 63,800 full-time additions, while part-time employment declined by 2,900. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment growth in the private sector increased 2.2 per cent, while the public sector increased 1.1 per cent. Self-employment in Canada rose slightly only 0.6 per cent over the 12 months leading up to September.

Employment growth led in the service sector

The bulk of the employment gain was in educational services, which saw an increase of 38,400 jobs. This is presumably largely the result of the return to work of teachers and assistants who were laid off for the summer. Statscan tries to adjust for seasonality but said there had not been enough of a consistent pattern in this sector for specific months.

The number of workers in professional, scientific and technical services rose by 36,000 in September, continuing an upward trend that started in the summer of 2009. Over the past 12 months, employment in this industry has increased by 4.1 per cent.

Employment fell by 35,000 in the finance, insurance, real estate and leasing sector. Compared with a year earlier, employment in this industry is down by 1.4 per cent. Additionally, employment in manufacturing was down 24,000 in September after having experienced little change in the previous three months,.

British Columbia sees large gains

Employment increased by 32,000 in British Columbia, all in full-time work. This was the first notable employment gain since July 2010. The unemployment rate fell by 0.8 percentage points to 6.7 per cent in September. In Saskatchewan, employment increased by 4,000 last month. Employment in the province is up 0.9 per cent compared with 12 months earlier, lower than the national average of 1.7 per cent. New Brunswick saw an increase of 2,700 jobs in September, but despite this gain, employment in the province was 0.5 per cent lower than 12 months earlier.

Unemployment in America

In the United States the unemployment rate remained at 9.1 per cent in September. American Employers added 130,000 jobs last month, according to the U.S. Labor Department. The hiring did little to draw down the number of unemployed in country, which is estimated at 14 million. Since April 2011, the jobless rate has remained between 9.0 and 9.2 per cent.

Nearly half of the hiring gains, though, were due to the rehiring of 45,000 Verizon employees who had gone on strike the month prior.

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