Canada's hiring spree continues in November

Fri Dec 7, 2007 11:02am EST
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By Louise Egan

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian economy created 42,600 jobs in November, once again overshooting expectations in a sign of resilience to the turmoil in the U.S. housing sector and financial market disruption.

Statistics Canada said on Friday the strength was mainly due to private-sector hiring in the services sector and in natural resources. Manufacturing, hurt by a strong Canadian dollar and weaker U.S. demand for exports, continued its slump.

Despite the heavy hiring, the jobless rate ticked up to 5.9 percent from a 33-year low of 5.8 percent in October, as 67,600 people were lured into the labor force, pushing the rate of participation to a historic high.

The employment rate, which is the percentage of the working age population that is employed, hit a record high at 63.8 percent.

"This number is actually a fair bit stronger than it looks on the surface ... Most importantly, you're actually seeing private sector job creation again. We really didn't see much of that over the past eight months," said Eric Lascelles, chief economics and rates specialist at TD Securities.

"On the one hand, yes, the U.S. economy is quite soft with downside risks and the credit crunch is ongoing, but boy, the Canadian dollar is not nearly as threatening as it was a while ago," he said.

The November report followed three straight months of stronger-than-expected employment growth. In October, the economy added nearly six times the number of jobs forecast.

Analysts had forecast, on average, job gains of 10,000 in November and an unchanged unemployment rate of 5.9 percent.   Continued...

<p>A sign at a landscape supply company advertises available jobs in Arvada, Colorado October 5, 2007. Canada's economy once again created more jobs than expected in November, adding 42,600 to payrolls in November in a sign of resilience to turmoil in the U.S. housing sector and financial market disruption. REUTERS/Rick Wilking</p>