Statistics Canada says 45,900 jobs lost in December, unemployment rate rises

CTV News January 10, 2014 - Economists had projected a gain of about 14,000 jobs in December, but Canada instead shed a surprising 45,900 jobs last month, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The country’s unemployment rate also rose to 7.2 per cent from 6.9 per cent in November -- making Canada’s unemployment rate higher than in the United States, which had an unemployment rate of 6.7 per cent.

CTV’s chief financial commentator Pattie Lovett Reid said the job report was weak, but that “the quality of jobs wasn’t all that great either.”

December saw a decline of about 60,000 full-time jobs. Part-time jobs, however, were up by 14,200.  

Meanwhile, the private sector shed 26,000 jobs and government hiring went up by 25,000.

Across Canada, British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador were the only provinces to see increased numbers, while Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces suffered losses.

The number of people working in British Columbia in December increased by 12,800, while Newfoundland and Labrador gained 1,900 jobs.   

Ontario and Alberta, meanwhile, lost 39,300 and 11,700 jobs, respectively. And despite little change in the employment rate in Quebec, the province lost 10,200 jobs.

The total employment gains in 2013 amounted to 102,000 -- the slowest growth rate since 2009, Statistics Canada said.

Following the jobs report, the loonie fell half a cent to 91.65 cents -- its lowest level since 2009.

Decline in educational services, agriculture

Health care and social assistance were the only industries with employment gains in December, with an additional 22,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, an increase in education services jobs over the previous two months was offset by a loss of 19,000 jobs in December.

And 15,000 fewer people worked in the “other services” industry in December. This includes personal care services and civic and social organizations.

The agriculture industry and natural resources also experienced declines, with 9,800 and 8,000 jobs lost, respectively.

Trade deficit

The country’s trade deficit with the world went up in November, to $940 million, as imports increased to $40.7 billion, while exports remained steady at $39.8 billion, Statistics Canada reported earlier this week.

U.S. job numbers

The United States expected an increase of 193,000 jobs, but only 74,000 jobs were created in December. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, went to 6.7 per cent -- not because people were being employed, but because fewer people were actually looking for jobs, Reid said.

With files from The Canadian Press

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