Canada unemployment drops to 5.7%, lowest in 42 years


OTTAWA, Jan 6, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Canada’s unemployment rate fell to 5.7 percent in December, the lowest since comparable data began being collected in January 1976, official data showed Friday.

The Canadian economy added 79,000 new jobs last month, as part of an upward trend seen in recent months, Statistics Canada said.

For 2017 as a whole, 423,000 jobs were created, pushing unemployment down from 6.9 percent at the end of 2016 to 5.7 percent in December.

In the 12-month period that ended in December, nearly all employment gains were for full-time work (394,000, or a 2.7 percent increase), as total hours worked jumped 3.1 percent.

The job growth in December, when a lot of seasonal work becomes available during the holiday period, mostly took place in part-time work, which increased by 55,000.

Employment increased by 52,000 during the month among people aged 25 to 54. The new jobs lowered the unemployment rate for men in that age group by 0.2 percent to 4.8 percent — the lowest rate since April 1981.

For women in that age group, unemployment held steady at 4.8 percent.

Youth employment, for those aged 15 to 24, shed 0.5 percent to 10.3 percent as fewer youths searched for work.

After three months of little change, 25,000 more people were employed in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing.

And an additional 9,500 people worked in transportation and warehousing, the first significant employment increase in the sector since the summer of 2017.