Canada adds jobs in August, but unemployment rate rises

Fri Sep 4, 2015 9:32am EDT
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By Leah Schnurr

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada unexpectedly added jobs in August, but the unemployment rate rose to a one-year high as more people looked for work.

Friday's report from Statistics Canada did not change expectations that the Bank of Canada would hold rates steady when it meets next week after cutting them twice this year to try to revive the stalled economy.

The oil-exporting country fell into a modest recession in the first half of the year as it contended with the plunge in crude prices, but many economists and the Bank of Canada expect growth to perk up in the latter half of 2015.

Canada added 12,000 jobs last month. That surpassed 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.

"Overall, I think there's good news here that will offset the rise in the unemployment rate," BMO Capital Markets chief economist Doug Porter said, pointing to encouraging gains in full-time work.

"This is just another suggestion that the bank is likely to remain on hold," Porter said. "Things aren't weak enough to point to another rate cut by the Bank of Canada."   Continued...

Overhead view of the 2014 Spring National Job Fair and Training Expo in Toronto, April 3, 2014. REUTERS/Aaron Harris