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Canada, U.S. jobs rebound in November

Jennifer Kwan

Canada's economy added a whopping 59,300 jobs in November, flying past expectations and reassuring market experts after recent weak economic data.

The picture was also a encouraging in the U.S., where observers anxiously awaited for figures  to assess superstorm Sandy's impact on the labor force. It appears no sign of major damage there, with data showing the economy added 146,000 jobs. The jobless rate fell to 7.7 per cent, a near four-year low.

"I would say the economy is still grinding ahead with decent growth. Nothing spectacular in either country, but it is still churning ahead," said Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.

"The fiscal cliff is still looming over both economies, but this is relatively good news," he added.

In Canada, the bulk of the new jobs came from full-time positions and in the private sector. The unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 7.2 per cent in November, said Statistics Canada data in a report released on Friday.

All new jobs in the month were in the services-producing sector. On the flip side, there were notable declines in both manufacturing and construction. Market observers had expected the data to show the economy added 10,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate to remain at 7.4 per cent.

Even with this pop up, the broader trend is one of slowing global growth and Canada is not completely immune, economists say. Recent growth data showed Canada's economy grew a meagre 0.6 percent, while growth is expected to shift into lower gear for 2013.

Still, the report gave markets something to be cheery about.

"The report represented a splash of good news that has been in short supply in recent months. Supportive for the (Canadian dollar) and negative for fixed income assets as a result," said Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Markets, in a note.

Market strategists on both sides of border don't expect the jobs figures to significantly alter central bank measures around monetary policy.