Canada unexpectedly sheds jobs in July, unemployment edges up

Driven by decline in full-time positions

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian economy unexpectedly shed 31,200 last month, driven by a decline in full-time positions that sent the unemployment rate up to 6.9 per cent, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.

The decline in jobs in July came well short of economists' expectations for a gain of 10,000. The increase in the unemployment rate, the highest since May, came even as the participation rate edged down to 65.4 per cent.

The drop in jobs was led by a 24,200 decline in employment in the public administration industry, helping the service sector shed 26,900 positions overall. But the goods-producing industries fared poorly as well, with natural resources losing 3,900 jobs, while employment in construction dropped by 9,000.

A 71,400 decline in full-time positions accounted for the overall weakness in the labor market, while part-time jobs rose by 40,200.

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