Canada’s job market unexpectedly weakened for a second-straight month, registering the biggest drop in employment since 2009 and casting doubt on the resiliency of the domestic outlook.

The economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa, following a decline of 1,800 in the prior month. That pares the total number of jobs added this year to around 285,100.

The report missed the median economist forecast for a gain of 10,000 jobs. The unemployment rate increased to 5.9 per cent in the month, from 5.5 per cent in October, the biggest one-month jump since 2009. The decrease in employment was broad-based among both the goods-producing and service-producing sectors.

“Canada’s jobs report is disappointing, showing job losses for the second month in a row,” said Julia Pollak, labour economist at ZipRecruiter, an online employment marketplace. “But observers should remember that the numbers are highly volatile and that this is still the strongest year for job growth in Canada in 17 years.”

The Canadian currency depreciated on the report, dropping 0.6 per cent to $1.3249 against its U.S. counterpart at 8:40 a.m. Toronto time.

McCreath: Canada job losses will put pressure on BoC

BNN Bloomberg Commentator Andrew McCreath takes a look at the Canadian jobs report, and why the significant losses will put pressure on Stephen Poloz and the BoC at the next interest rate meeting.

Key Insights

• The weakness in November’s report contrasts with the Bank of Canada’s view in the rate decision this week that a healthy labour market will fuel consumption and remain a source of resilience amid trade tensions

• A question now is whether or not the labour market will continue to cool down from a strong year or if it will reverse course

• Some of the losses in the month were in public administration, which saw a pickup last month due to election-related hiring

• Wages for permanent employees rose 4.4 per cent on the year, matching the prior month’s rate; hours worked slowed to 0.2 per cent, from a year earlier, versus 1.3 per cent in October

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• Private sector employment was responsible for a majority of the job losses while self-employment and public-sector employment were little changed
• November saw fewer workers of core-aged men and women 55 and over

--With assistance from Erik Hertzberg.