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Canada sheds the most jobs in a month since 2009


Canada lost 71,000 jobs in November.

The unemployment rate jumped from 5.5 per cent to 5.9 per cent — the biggest monthly increase since 2009.

Full-time positions dropped by 38,400, while part-time jobs fell by 32,800.

The new numbers from Statistics Canada are well below estimates of 10,000 new jobs.

A big chunk of these losses was inevitable.

“While roughly 20,000 of that drop was due to a reversal of temporary federal election-related hiring, the rest of the weakness was broadly based by industry and by type of employment [both full-time and part-time],” said Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC, in a note.

Mendes says the Bank of Canada may rethink holding off an interest rate cut.

Up until last month, jobs numbers were strong despite relatively weak economic growth. Brendon Bernard, economist at Indeed, says it was only a matter of time until employment growth came back to earth.

“However, rather than a gradual slowdown, employment fell with a thud in November, the largest monthly drop since the Great Recession,” he told Yahoo Finance Canada.

Bernard is discouraged by the sources of the drop, especially the private sector.

“Goods producing industries like manufacturing and natural resources, which were already softening in recent months, took another hit, but this time were joined by a drop in services,” he said.

Not all bad news

“The silver lining is that wage growth ticked modestly higher, to 4.5 per cent from 4.3 per cent in October. So overall labour income growth still looks relatively solid despite slower job growth,” said Nathan Janzen, senior economist at RBC.

Quebec lost 41,500 jobs — the most of any province.

Ontario and Prince Edward Island were the only provinces that gained positions.

The U.S. economy smashed expectations by adding 266,000 jobs during the same period. Economists expected 156,000 would be added.

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

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