The Canadian economy added 35,200 in December, compared to economists’ expectations of 25,000 new jobs.
The unemployment rate drops to 5.6 per cent from 5.9 per cent, according to Statistics Canada.
Almost all of the new jobs were full-time positions.
“After two months of woe, Canada's job figures roared back, making up half of the prior month's decline in employment and sending the jobless rate back to whence it came,” said Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Markets, in a note.
“The 35K jobs gain was all in full-time private sector paid jobs, and the 5.6% unemployment rate (vs 5.9% the prior month) is not quite back to its lows but is in the range considered to be full employment.”
Ontario led the way with 25,000 new jobs, followed by 21,000 in Quebec.
The December data brings 2019’s total to 320,000 jobs for the year — 283,000 of them were full-time positions —for the second-best year since 2007.
The Canadian dollar (CAD/USD) got a lift in the minutes after the data was released.
Shenfeld cautions that hours worked are up only slightly to 0.3 per cent, and wage growth slowed from 3.8 per cent year over year from 4.4 per cent.
Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.