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OTTAWA, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Canada's economy unexpectedly added jobs in August, though the unemployment rate rose to its highest level in a year as more people were looking for work, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.
Canada added 12,000 jobs last month, surpassing economists' expectations for a decline of 4,500 jobs. The unemployment rate rose to 7 percent after sitting at 6.8 percent for six consecutive months.
That was the highest level since it was at 7 percent in August 2014. The participation rate edged up to 65.9 percent from 65.7 percent.
The job gains came entirely from full-time employment, with 54,400 positions added, while 42,400 part-time jobs were lost. The increases were led by the educational services and public administration sectors.
The natural resources sector, which has been hurt by the downturn in oil prices, added a modest 2,300 jobs. In Alberta, where the country's vast oil sands are located, 4,700 jobs were created, while the unemployment rate remained at 6 percent.
Canada fell into a modest recession in the first half of the year as it has been hit by cheaper oil, but many economists, and the Bank of Canada, expect growth will perk up in the latter half of the year.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr Editing by W Simon