Canadian unemployment down to 6.8 percent, a six year low

Canadian unemployment is at its lowest level in nearly six years, down to 6.8 percent in September. According to Statistics Canada, there were 74,100 new jobs created last month.

The jobless rate decreased by 0.2 percent in September to its lowest level since December 2008. In addition, the majority of the news jobs created were full-time (69,300). The last time that this many jobs were created in a month was in May 2013 – when 89,500 new jobs were added.

Federal finance minister Joe Oliver said:

“I am pleased to see September’s strong job growth that brings us to our lowest unemployment rate since 2008,”

Of the 74,100 new jobs, 24,700 were added in Ontario, with the province’s unemployment rate falling to 7.1 percent – 0.3 percent lower than the month before.

Brad Duguid, Ontario’s economic development minister, said that since the 2009 global recession a total of 514,000 net new jobs have been created, adding that “September’s positive job numbers helped us get over the top on this.”

The figures were way ahead of forecasts. A survey conducted by by Reuters found that most economists predicted only 20,000 new jobs in September and an unchanged unemployment rate.

However, many economists are concerned about the volatility of monthly data. In July there were 41,700 new jobs followed by a very disappointing 11,000 net job loss in August.

TD economist Leslie Preston, said that “the worry is it could all be lost next month given the decidedly see-saw pattern of the labour force survey over the past year.”

Capital Markets Canadian economist David Madani pointed out that the growth in September “suggests that the economy might finally be catching fire. One month of data, however, doesn’t make a trend.”

According to Statistics Canada, many new jobs were created in the health care, food services, accommodation, construction, finance, insurance, real estate, and natural resources industries.

Provinces that had the biggest job gains were Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Unemployment rates by province

Newfoundland: 12.7% in September, down from 13.5% in August.
Prince Edward Island: 9.5 in September, down from 10.0% in August.
Nova Scotia: 8.6% in September, down from 8.8% in August.
New Brunswick: 9.6% in September, up from 8.7% in August.
Quebec: 7.6% in September, down from 7.7% in August.
Ontario: 7.1% in September, down from 7.4% in August.
Manitoba: 5.3% in September, down from 5.5% in August.
Saskatchewan: 3.5% in September, down from 4.2% in August.
Alberta: 4.4% in September, down from 4.9% in August.
British Columbia: 6.1% in September, the same as in August.