OTTAWA Canadas domestic economy turned in one of the strongest job-creation months of the year in September, adding an eye-popping 52,100 new jobs that was five times more than economists expected.Greater Victoria contributed to rising labour force numbers, even though its unemployment rate inched up to six per cent in September from 5.9 per cent in August, Statistics Canada said in its monthly labour force survey released today.The capital regions labour force (those working and willing to work) moved up to 194,700 last month from 193,800 in August.Employment climbed by 800 to 183,100 in September from 182,300 the previous month. The number of unemployed increased by 200 monthly to 11,600, the federal agency said.Total employment rose by 4,000 for the first nine months of this year, said Statistics Canada spokesman Vincent Ferrao.Sectors which have seen yearly job growth include the financing, leasing, real estate and insurance where 12,600 people were employed in September, up from 10,400 from September 2011, he said.Health care and social assistance jobs also increased yearly to 29,800 from 24,200. Education employment rose to 12,300 from 10,400.Job losses were seen in public administration which dropped 18,800 last month from 21,000 in September 2011. Accommodation and food services also lost jobs, with last months numbers at 11,800 from 14,800.The construction sector also saw employment numbers decline to 11,400 last month from 13,800 the previous year.Looking at the big picture, it was the labour data south of the border that drew the superlatives from economists and markets which if true, suggest the U.S. recovery is finally underway.The U.S. labour department said Friday morning that 114,000 new jobs were created in September, but more importantly revised upwards its data for July and August adding 86,000 jobs to those two months. For the three months, job creation averaged 146,000 and took the unemployment rate to 7.8 per cent, the lowest in four years.The Canadian dollar jumped more than half a cent on the news to 102.62 cents US, and markets were solidly up in both Toronto and New York.I think (the U.S.) is the bigger news today, even for Canada, said Bank of Montreal deputy chief economist Doug Porter.This is exactly what the Canadian economy needs right now because the consumer is close to being tapped out, housing doesnt have any more room to grow, the government sector is cutting back [and] business are understandably cautious. So what we really need now is exports and exports [which] need the U.S. economy to get going.In another promising signal, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants third-quarter survey found that 46 per cent of senior executives expect the number of employees at their companies to increase in the next year. Thats up slightly from 41 per cent in the second-quarter survey.Finance Minister Jim Flahertys office issued a statement that he was encouraged by the latest Canadian gains, noting that they bring to 820,000 the number of new jobs added since July 2009. Flaherty said it was the best job creation record in the G-7.The gain was the third biggest of the year and surprised the experts, which had expected a pickup of 10,000.But it wasnt enough to put a dent in the unemployment rate, which edged up one-tenth of a point to 7.4 per cent. Thats because while thousands of Canadians found work in September, even more 72,600 joined the labour force.Economist Erin Weir of the Progressive Economics Forum said the jump in Canadians entering the workforce suggests many are still waiting in the wings for prospects to improve.Economists also pointed out that the details were not as strong as the headline suggests, including the fact that two-thirds of the new jobs where in the self-employment category.Scotiabanks Derek Holt noted that aggregate hours worked actually declined 0.3 per cent despite there being more people working.Its hours worked that get people paid so this is a significant dent against the headline. Its not clear to me how this happened if headline and full-time jobs were up so solidly, he said.Still, the pop in new jobs was unexpected given that most economic indicators of the past few months have presented a picture of a domestic economy struggling to maintain momentum amid a general slowdown around the world, particularly the United States, Europe and China.Septembers increase brought year-over-year job creation to 175,000.The report was even stronger than Augusts 34,000 jobs increase, which were all part-time.Last month, the vast majority of new jobs were full-time and all in the private sector, although roughly two-thirds were in the self-employment category jobs that economists say are often lower-paying and less productive.Statistics Canada said most of the new jobs were taken by workers in the core 25-54 age group, and mostly by men in the first notable increase in employment among men since March of last year.With this increase, the employment level for core-aged men is back to its pre-recession peak of October 2008, the agency said, although the rate of employment remains slightly below that of four years ago.Regionally, most of the action occurred in Ontario, which saw an increase of 31,600 jobs. Quebec and Manitoba also saw gains.Statistics Canada said the biggest gains occurred in the retail and wholesale trade sectors, which saw some 34,000 jobs created, while the number of jobs in construction, which has been weak in recent months, jobs rose by 29,000.Work in the information, culture and recreation industries saw an increase of about 24,000, and there were about 8,700 new agriculture jobs in the month.Detracting from the positives were the loss of 19,000 workers in a general category called other services and a 17,000 decrease in business, building and other support services.
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