Unemployment edges down to 8.4 per cent: StatsCan

31,000 new jobs, mostly full-time, mark second month of gains

Gains in full-time employment pushed the unemployment rate down 0.3 percentage points, the first monthly decline since the fall of 2008, to 8.4 per cent in September, according to the Statistics Canada labour force survey.

September marked the second straight month of job gains, with 31,000 net new jobs. September also saw the largest gain in full-time employment since May 2006 with 92,000 new full-time jobs. However, this gain was partially offset by part-time losses of 61,000.

Manufacturing (26,000 net new jobs), construction (25,000 net new jobs) and educational services (18,000 net new jobs) saw employment increases in September, while there were declines in transportation and warehousing (21,000 net job losses).

British Columbia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island were the only provinces with notable employment gains in September. In Ontario, employment rose slightly as large full-time gains were dampened by losses in part-time work.

Since the peak in October 2008, employment has fallen by 2.1 per cent (-357,000), with the bulk of the decline occurring between October 2008 and March 2009. Since then, the trend in employment has levelled, with the number employed almost the same in September as it was in March.

The increase in average hourly wages slowed to 2.5 per cent compared with September 2008. This was the lowest year-over-year growth in two and a half years.

Despite September's gains, full-time employment has fallen by 395,000 or 2.8 per cent since the employment peak in October 2008.

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