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Unemployment rate held steady last month, StatsCan says

Statistics Canada says the total number of jobs in December was virtually unchanged for the month as the unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 per cent.

The agency says the economy added a total of 100 jobs for the final month of the year.

The result came as the number of full-time jobs fell by 23,500 in December, offset by a gain of 23,600 part-time positions in the month.

The number of jobs in the professional, scientific and technical services sector rose by 45,700 in the month, while the number of jobs in health care and social assistance climbed by 15,500. 

The wholesale and retail trade sector lost 20,600 jobs in December.

Statistics Canada says overall employment growth slowed in the second half of 2023, averaging 23,000 per month compared with 48,000 per month in the first six months of the year. 

Meanwhile, Friday’s report from the U.S. Labor Department noted 216,000 jobs were added last month, exceeding the 173,000 added in November.

The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7 per cent.

This map shows the unemployment rate in every Canadian province and the change in the rate in December. (Statistics Canada)
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