Public sector layoffs weigh on Canada job market in July

Economy sheds nearly 40,000 jobs in wake of record number of layoffs, unemployment rate edges up

OTTAWA — A record number of public sector job losses in July caused Canadian employment to fall by 39,400 from the previous month and the unemployment rate to tick up to 7.2 per cent from 7.1 per cent, Statistics Canada reported on Friday.

Almost all the jobs lost were in services, particularly health care and social assistance, with overall public sector employment down by 74,000 positions.

Employment among youth also fell by a sharp 46,000 and summer employment for high school-aged students hit its lowest level since 1977, the federal agency said.

Market players surveyed by Reuters had forecast the creation of 10,000 net new jobs in July, and an unemployment rate of 7.1 per cent, unchanged from June.

On average over the past six months, some 11,000 net new jobs have been created per month compared with 27,000 in the previous six-month period from August 2012 to January 2013.

Both full-time and part-time jobs disappeared in July, declining by 18,300 and 21,200, respectively.

On the bright side, 31,400 Canadians obtained private-sector jobs and 13,500 joined the hard-hit manufacturing sector.

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