Canadian employment grew faster than economists forecast in December, led by an increase of part-time and health-care workers.
Jobs rose by 22,800 and the jobless rate was unchanged at 7.1 percent, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected an 8,000 job increase and a steady unemployment rate, according to median forecasts.
Canada’s labor market is among the few relatively bright spots in an economy pummeled by a commodity-price collapse. Even so, hiring and investment may be hobbled for the next few years by losses in energy-producing regions, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said in a speech Thursday.
The report brings total job gains for 2015 to 158,100, a growth rate of 0.9 percent that was faster than the 0.7 percent pace in the prior two years. Full-time employment accounted for 151,000 of last year’s new jobs.
Part-time work rose by 29,200 in December, while full-time positions declined by 6,400. Workers designated by Statistics Canada as employees fell by 17,500. The self-employed category increased by 40,300.
Health care and social assistance employment climbed by 16,500 on the month, followed by education with 15,400 new positions, Statistics Canada said.
The jobless rate climbed by 0.4 percentage points last year, as more people sought work, Statistics Canada said.