June 8, 2018 / 12:36 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Canada sheds jobs in May, but wages grow by the most in six years

(Adds details from report)

OTTAWA, June 8 (Reuters) - The Canadian economy unexpectedly shed jobs in May as hiring declined in the manufacturing and construction sectors, though wages grew at their strongest annual pace in nearly six years, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.

The 7,500 decline in employment contrasts with economists’ forecasts for a gain of 17,500 jobs. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 percent, as expected.

Average hourly wages rose 3.9 percent from a year earlier, matching a pace last seen in July 2012.

The Bank of Canada has said it is closely watching income growth as it considers whether to raise interest rates again next month.

The decline in jobs last month was driven by a 31,000 drop in full-time positions, while part-time work rose by 23,600. On a sector basis, goods-producing industries led the way down, with an 18,300 decline in manufacturing jobs and a 13,000 drop in construction.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr Editing by Jim Finkle and Bernadette Baum

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