Canada non-farm payrolls up 21,800 in December

Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:36am EST
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OTTAWA Feb 26 (Reuters) - Canadian non-farm payroll employment rose by 21,800 jobs in December, offsetting a decline in the previous month, led by gains in employment in healthcare and social assistance, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

For the year, non-farm payroll employment increased by 154,300, or 1 percent, with the majority of jobs gained between April and October.

The report was in contrast to the more closely watched labor force survey, which showed the Canadian economy shed a revised 11,300 jobs in December.

While the payrolls report comes out a month later than the high-profile labor force survey, economists say it can provide additional insight into the state of the labor market. The most recent version of the labor force survey showed employers added 35,400 jobs in January.

Average weekly earnings were C$943 in December, up 0.7 percent from the previous month and up 2 percent from the year before. Wage growth, changes in the composition of employment by industry and employees' level of experience contributed to the yearly increase.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr Editing by W Simon)