Canadian economy added 54,000 jobs in July

The Canadian economy added about 54,000 new jobs last month, causing the jobless rate to fall two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.8 per cent.

Statistics Canada said Friday that the economy added 82,000 part-time jobs, but that figure was offset by a loss of 28,000 full-time positions.

The public sector added 49,600 new jobs, while the private sector added 5,200 positions.

Ontario accounted for most of the gains, adding 61,000 jobs as a surge of part-time work offset a loss of full-time jobs.

July’s data means that in the past 12 months, Canada has added 246,000 jobs, 211,000 of which are of the full-time variety.

Toronto-Dominion Bank economist Brian DePratto said beyond the strong headline number, the details of the report were “mixed.”

“Could have been better, could have been worse,” he said.

At 5.8 per cent, the country’s official unemployment rate is now tied for its lowest level since the 1970s, Bloomberg data shows. The figure has hit the mark several times this year without ever going below it.

“On the plus side, the number of unemployed fell and more Canadians were drawn to the labour force – both signs of a healthy economy,” DePratto said.

But there’s one demographic group for whom the job market is looking much less robust: students. In the summer months, Statistics Canada collects data on what the job market is like for young people between the ages of 15 and 24 who want to work.

This summer, there are 67,000 fewer young people with summer jobs than there were last year. The jobless rate for young people now sits at 12.8 per cent.

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