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Dec 1, 2017

Canada goes on 'hiring splurge' in November with 79,500 new jobs

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OTTAWA - A wave of job creation last month knocked the unemployment rate down to 5.9 per cent -- its lowest level in nearly a decade.

Statistics Canada says the economy churned out another 79,500 net new jobs in November and drove the jobless rate down 0.4 percentage points from 6.3 per cent the month before.

The numbers fly in the face of a slowing economy, according to BMO Capital Markets senior economist and director Sal Guatieri.

“Defying the recent slowing in the economy after a stellar year, Canadian businesses are on a hiring splurge,” Guatieri wrote in a note to clients.

Guatieri also noted that the data could force the Bank of Canada into action sooner than expected.

“The stellar jobs report should allow for a more two-way discussion about Bank of Canada policy, as, until now, the debate was largely about how much longer the bank would delay the next rate hike,” he wrote. “The bank must be getting antsy about the continued tightening in labour markets and brewing wage pressures”

The last time the unemployment rate was 5.9 per cent was February 2008, before the global financial crisis.

"The Canadian labour market appears unstoppable at this point," James Marple, senior economist with TD Economics, said in a note to clients. 

Economists had expected an increase of 10,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to come in at 6.2 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters.

"The employment figures for November smashed expectation," CIBC Economist Nick Exarhos wrote in a note to clients. 

The increase also marked Canada's 12th straight month of job creation as the country posted its best 12-month performance in 10 years.

The report says employment rose 2.1 per cent in the 12 months leading up to November as the economy added 390,000 net jobs -- with all the gains driven by full-time work.

The labour market added 441,400 full-time positions year-over-year for an increase of three per cent and its strongest 12-month period of full-time job creation in 18 years.

-- With files from BNN 

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Here are the jobless rates last month by province (previous month in brackets):

   -- Newfoundland and Labrador 14.4 per cent (14.5)
   -- Prince Edward Island 8.8 (10.3)
   -- Nova Scotia 8.8 (8.7)
   -- New Brunswick 8.3 (7.8)
   -- Quebec 5.4 (6.1)
   -- Ontario 5.5 (5.9)
   -- Manitoba 5.4 (5.2)
   -- Saskatchewan 6.0 (5.9)
   -- Alberta 7.3 (7.8)
   -- British Columbia 4.8 (4.9)


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The Canadian job market is on pace for its biggest year of employment growth in a decade.