UPDATE 3-Canada jobless rate under 7 pct for first time in almost 5 years
* Canada adds 11,900 jobs, more than expected
* Jobless rate lowest since December 2008
* Canadian dollar strengthens to session high on news
By David Ljunggren
OTTAWA, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Canada added 11,900 jobs in September and the unemployment rate dropped to an almost five-year low of 6.9 percent, largely because fewer youths were looking for work, Statistics Canada said on Friday.
While September's report shows Canada had largely regained jobs lost during the 2008-09 recession, there are few signs resurgent growth will appear soon enough to prompt a near-term interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada.
Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets, said the report was respectable.
"Definitely the eye-popping statistic here was the fact that the jobless rate has dropped below 7 percent, gripping the 6 percent handle for the first time in almost five years. That's always an encouraging sign," he said.
The gain was greater than the 10,000 new jobs predicted by market analysts. The jobless rate, which stood at 7.1 percent in August, touched the lowest since the 6.8 percent recorded in December 2008. Continued...