Canada’s unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to a four-year low in December as hiring rose for a fifth straight month led by full-time jobs at private companies.
The jobless rate fell to 7.1 percent from 7.2 percent and employment rose by 39,800, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. None of the 23 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News predicted the unemployment rate would decline and the gain in jobs was almost double the highest estimate.
Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney is relying on consumption and business investment to lead an expansion over the next two years, and forecast growth will rebound after slowing to a 0.6 percent annualized pace in the third quarter. Carney reiterated Dec. 4 he may raise interest rates while the U.S. Federal Reserve has eased policy to reduce unemployment.
The country’s jobless rate has declined from 7.5 percent over the past year while employment increased by 1.8 percent or by 311,900.
Full-time employment rose by 41,200 in December while part- time positions declined by 1,400, Statistics Canada said. Private companies added 59,400 workers and public-sector employment increased by 3,200. Workers designated by Statistics Canada as employees climbed by 62,500 while self-employment decreased by 22,800 in December.
Transportation and warehouse employment rose by 21,500 in December, and construction by 17,800, according to the report.