Canada sees large job gain in Oct as election gives lift
By Leah Schnurr
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada created the most jobs in five months in October, sending the unemployment rate down as employment in the public administration sector jumped on hiring related to last month's election.
The economy added 44,400 jobs last month, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday, handily topping forecasts for a gain of 10,000. The unemployment rate, which had drifted higher recently, eased to 7.0 percent from 7.1 percent.
Canada was in a mild recession in the first half of the year, but analysts expect the economy has already recovered and point to the resiliency of the labor market despite layoffs in the energy sector.
The Bank of Canada has cut interest rates twice this year to offset the shock of cheaper oil, but the surprisingly upbeat jobs figures reinforced expectations the central bank will hold its main policy rate at 0.5 percent when it next meets in December.
Nonetheless, economists said the details were less rosy, particularly the gain in part-time employment.
"As much as it's a very strong headline number the underlying is not quite as promising," said Andrew Kelvin, senior rates strategist at TD Securities. He said he expects to see a lot of the election influence unwound.
The Canadian dollar weakened against the greenback as traders were more focused on strong jobs figures south of the border that bolstered expectations the Federal Reserve could begin raising rates next month. [CAD/]
Employment in the public administration sector increased by 32,000 positions in October, coinciding with temporary hiring related to the federal election. Continued...