OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada added 9,300 jobs in December on an increase in part-time hiring, slightly more than markets had expected, while the unemployment rate remained at an all-time low, Statistics Canada data indicated on Friday.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a gain of 5,500 positions in December and for the jobless rate to increase to 5.7 per cent from 5.6 per cent in November, a month when a record 94,100 jobs were created.
The economy shed 18,900 full-time jobs in December while part-time positions grew by 28,300.
Employment as a whole in 2018 rose by 163,300 positions, or just 0.9 per cent, the lowest yearly increase since the 0.9 per cent seen in 2015.
December's data seem unlikely to sway the Bank of Canada, which analysts expect will leave interest rates unchanged on Jan 9 after five hikes since July 2017. Governor Stephen Poloz said on Dec. 17 that the pace of tightening could be interrupted or sped up depending on the economic circumstances.
The average year-over-year wage growth of permanent employees — a figure closely watched by the central bank — remained at 1.5 per cent in December, the lowest since the 1.2 per cent seen in July 2017.