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Canadian jobless rate reaches 40-year low

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In a spot of good news, Canada’s jobless rate has plunged to its lowest level in more than 40 years.

Last month, Statistics Canada reported that employment has been steadily increasing for three consecutive months, with 79,000 jobs in December alone. At the same time, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 per cent — that’s the lowest on record since data became available in 1976 according to StatsCan.

Looking at B.C., 2017 saw a 3.4 per cent employment growth, the majority full-time work in the health care, social assistance, construction, finance, insurance, real estate and rental and leasing sectors. Unemployment fell 1.2 per cent to 4.6, which is the lowest among the provinces. Although setting in at a slightly higher overall number, our French-speaking neighbours to the east had the most dramatic drop of 1.6 per cent.

“Quebec was probably the most compelling story throughout the year, with job growth running strong and the unemployment rate plunging to a record low [of 4.9 per cent],” said Bank of Montreal economist Robert Kavcic in a client report.

In terms of industry across the country, services pertaining to the civic and professional organizations, as well as personal and laundry services, showed an uptick of 13,000 jobs in the final month of 2017. Things were positive for education as well, up 11,000, transportation and warehousing 9,500 and natural resources, 5,800.

Other shifts noted in the StatsCan findings, compared to the previous calendar year, include increases in workers aged 55 and over (+5.5 per cent), women aged 25 to 54 (+1.4 per cent) and young people aged 15 to 24 (+1.4 per cent).

By Benjamin Yong

January 29, 2018

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