Unemployment rate hits new 33-year low: StatsCan

51,000 new jobs in September pushes rate to 5.9 per cent

For the first time since November 1974, the unemployment rate is below six per cent.

Statistics Canada's most recent Labour Force Survey shows the unemployment rate dipped 0.1 percentage points to hit 5.9 per cent in September.

This decrease was driven by the addition of 51,000 new jobs, mostly full-time positions, in September.

In the first nine months of 2007, employment grew by a rate of 1.7 per cent, higher than the 1.3 per cent seen over the same period in 2006.

In September, core-age workers, those aged 25 to 54, experienced their first significant gain in employment (40,000 new jobs) since the start of the year.

Older workers (aged 55 and over) also showed employment strength with an increase of 23,000 jobs in September. So far this year, employment among older people has been growing at a faster pace (5.6 per cent) than for people in the core age group (one per cent).

Employment increased by an estimated 30,000 jobs in Ontario, all full-time work. Despite this increase, employment growth in the province over the first nine months of the year (1.2 per cent) remains below the national average of 1.7 per cent.

Since the beginning of the year, the number of hours worked at the national level rose by 2.1 per cent, a much stronger rate of increase than the one-per-cent growth observed over the same period a year ago.

The largest employment increases in September were in educational services, followed by public administration; professional, scientific and technical services; and agriculture. Retail trade saw declines in employment.

Over the first nine months of the year, manufacturing employment declined by 3.7 per cent while there has been robust growth in a number of service industries, as well as in construction and utilities.

Employees, on average, earned 4.2 per cent more per hour this September than they did in September 2006, while the most recent year-over-year increase in the Consumer Price Index was 1.7 per cent. This is the largest estimated year-over-year increase in average hourly wages since the Labour Force Survey began collecting this information in 1997.

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