By Gordon Isfeld, Financial Post November 8, 2013 - OTTAWA - Job creation in Canada remained steady last month, as did the unemployment rate, with hiring concentrated in the public sector and in full-time positions.
There were 13,200 more people working in October, in line with economists’ forecasts, and little changed from the previous month. That left the jobless rate at a nearly five-year low of 6.9%, Statistics Canada said Friday.
The public sector, which had been shedding jobs as government reduced spending, recovered 47,300 positions in October — mainly in the health-care sector and local government administration.
Meanwhile, the private sector lost 22,100 jobs in October, most notably in the business, building and supports services, which cut 32,600 jobs.
The biggest job gains were in Quebec, where 34,100 workers were added, most of those in the accommodation and food service industries, which produced 29,900 jobs overall in October.
Full-time employment rose by 16,000 last month, while part-time positions decline by 2,700.
“Canada’s employment reading for October was as clean as whistle and will make no waves,” said Douglas Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.
The construction lost 9,300 positions in October, while manufacturing shed 6,400 workers.
“Looking at the detail, all of the gains came from full-time workers for the second straight month,” said Emanuella Enenajor, at CIBC World Markets.
“Also, self-employed work dropped, with paid employment on the rise.”
The modest October gain in employment followed an equally meager 11,900 new jobs in September.
That followed major swings in the labour market in previous months. In August, the economy added 59,200 positions after losing 39,400 workers in July.
The see-saw employment pattern reflects the economic uncertainty in Canada, which has experienced sluggish growth following a strong recovery from the 2008-09 recession. As a result, the Bank of Canada has been stuck with a near-record low interest rate of 1% since September 2010.