Canada’s unemployment increases to 7.3 per cent in October

Job losses in great contrast to last month’s gains

The rate of unemployment in Canada increased to 7.3 per cent in October 2011, edging up 0.2 percentage points, according to Statistics Canada.

The economy shed 54,000 jobs last month. Full-time employment fell by 71,700 jobs, while part-time employment grew by 17,700. This decline is in stark contrast to the gain of 61,000 jobs in September.

Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the private sector increased by 1.5 per cent, while the public sector increased by 1.2 per cent. Self-employment in Canada rose 1.1 per cent over the 12 months leading up to October.

Employment loss largely in goods-producing industries

The bulk of the employment loss was in the goods producing industries, with manufacturing taking a second consecutive month of losses, this time eliminating 48,400 workers. Employment in the industry was down 2.7 per cent compared with October 2010. Overall, the construction sector lost a total of 20,100 jobs in October. Despite this loss, the sector stood 1.4 per cent above the level of October 2010.

Natural resources was the only goods-producing industry with significant employment gains last month, seeing 12,100 jobs added to the sector. Over the past 12 months, natural resources employment has grown by 5.0 per cent.

Ontario experiences large losses

Ontario lost 75,400 full-time jobs last month. However, there was an increase of 36,600 part-time workers, making the overall loss slightly less shocking at 38,700. Quebec and British Columbia also experienced notable job losses with a reduction of 13,300 and 10,800 jobs, respectively.

Newfoundland and Labrador was the only province to experience notable employment gains in October, up 4,100. Employment in the province grew 0.9 per cent compared with 12 months earlier.

Unemployment in America

In the United States, the unemployment rate fell slightly to 9.0 per cent in October. American employers added 80,000 jobs last month, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Government employment saw a decrease of 24,000, which was offset by 104,000 jobs added in the private sector. Public employment has fallen nearly every month this year as state and local governments deal with budget constraints.

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