OTTAWA, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Job growth in Canada slowed in July after two consecutive months of strong gains, while fewer people looking for work sent the unemployment rate to its lowest level since October 2008 when the global financial crisis was taking hold, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.
The economy added 10,900 jobs last month, nearly in line with economists’ forecasts for a gain of 10,000. The unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent from 6.5 percent as the participation rate edged down.
Still, Canada’s labor market has picked up in the last year, adding 387,600 jobs since last July, with 353,500 of those full-time positions.
The Bank of Canada raised interest rates last month for the first time in nearly seven years amid an improving jobs picture and signs the economy has all but recovered from 2015’s oil price shock.
July’s job gains were driven by increased hiring in the services sector, with the trade industry adding 21,900 new jobs. Other employment gains in the services industry included the information and culture sector as well as transportation and warehousing.
Among goods-producing industries, the manufacturing sector created 13,700 new jobs, while natural resources, including the oil and gas sector, saw hiring increase by 8,000.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by W Simon