People walk along Ste-Catherine Street in Montreal, Sunday, January 2, 2022, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada. Some measures put in place by the Quebec government, including the closure of stores to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

People walk along Ste-Catherine Street in Montreal, Sunday, January 2, 2022, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada. Some measures put in place by the Quebec government, including the closure of stores to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Statistics Canada says economy added 55,000 jobs in December, unemployment rate 5.9%

Lowest unemployment rate since February 2020

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the economy added 55,000 jobs in December before COVID-19 cases began spiking at the end of the month.

The agency says in its labour force survey that the increase in the number of people working came as the unemployment rate edged down to 5.9 per cent compared with 6.0 per cent in November.

It was the lowest unemployment rate since February 2020 before the pandemic when it was 5.7 per cent.

The overall increase in jobs in December was due to a gain in full-time jobs of 123,000, while part-time employment fell by 68,000 for the month.

The report was based on survey results done during the week of Dec. 5 to 11, before the public restrictions put in place to slow the latest surge in COVID-19 cases.

The highly transmissible Omicron variant has fuelled a massive spike in COVID-19 cases and prompted a return to restrictions in many parts of the country that have forced many businesses to temporarily close or curtail operations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 7, 2022.

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