Statistics Canada said Friday the unemployment rate fell to 5.6 per cent in December, in a Jan. 10, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Canadian economy added 35,200 jobs in December, unemployment rate falls

OTTAWA — The Canadian economy added 35,200 jobs in December, fuelled by a gain in full-time jobs, to post the first monthly increase in jobs since September.

Statistics Canada said Friday the unemployment rate fell to 5.6 per cent for the final month of the year, compared with a rate of 5.9 per cent in November when the country lost 71,200 jobs, the biggest monthly loss of jobs since the financial crisis.

The federal agency’s monthly labour force survey said the increase in the number of jobs in December came as full-time employment rose by 38,400 jobs. The number of part-time jobs fell by 3,200.

The gain in jobs came as the number of private sector employees rose by 56,900, offset by a loss of 21,500 public sector jobs. The number of self-employed fell by 200.

The goods-producing sector added 15,700 jobs, helped by a gain of 17,000 jobs in the construction industry. Meanwhile, the services-producing sector added 19,400 jobs as the accommodation and food services industry gained 24,900 jobs.

Regionally, Ontario and Quebec led the job gains.

Ontario added 25,100 jobs in December, boosted by gains in construction and public administration. Quebec added 21,100 jobs in the month, helped by gains in the accommodation and food services sector as well as manufacturing.

Newfoundland and Labrador lost 5,000 jobs in December.

The Canadian economy added 320,300 jobs for all of 2019 including 282,800 full-time positions and 37,500 part-time jobs.

The jobs report came ahead of the Bank of Canada’s rate decision and monetary policy report later this month.

The central bank has kept its key interest rate on hold at 1.75 per cent for more than a year even as many of its international peers, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, have moved to cut rates and loosen monetary policy in response to weakness in the global economy.

The Bank of Canada has said that the Canadian economy has been resilient despite the global uncertainty caused by the trade war between the United States and China.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 10, 2020.

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