Construction, health-care jobs fuel big employment in capital region

Times Colonist and The Canadian Press

Greater Victoria’s unemployment rate tightened to 3.9 per cent last month from 4.3 per cent in August as the construction and health-care sectors added jobs.

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The capital region followed Quebec City and Guelph, Ont., with the lowest unemployment rates nationally, Statistics Canada said in its latest report.

Construction employed 17,700 in Greater Victoria in September, up from 14,500 in the same month last year. Retail and wholesale services employment grew to 31,500 last month, from 26,500 a year ago. Health-care and social-assistance jobs climbed to 32,200 in September, up from 25,500 in September 2017.

The accommodation and food sector saw job numbers slump to 14,200 from 16,500 a year ago.

Canada’s job market gained 63,000 positions in September, edging the unemployment rate lower to 5.9 per cent, and offsetting job losses in August, Statistics Canada reported Friday.

September’s increase in employment was largely driven by gains in part-time work, with part-time jobs up by around 80,000, the federal agency said.

Economists had estimated the country would add 25,000 jobs in September, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

The job gains were also almost entirely in Ontario and British Columbia, with little change in the other provinces. The monthly report from Statistics Canada indicates the jobs market remains volatile, after August saw a decline of more than 51,000 positions, raising the unemployment rate to 6.0 per cent, after two months of increases. On a year-over-year basis, Canada gained 222,000 jobs since September 2017.

South of the border, the unemployment rate in the United States dropped more than expected, to 3.7 per cent in September from 3.9 per cent the previous month, as 134,000 jobs were created, below analyst predictions of 185,000 jobs.

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