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Unemployment rises to 9.7% in NEBC as Canada adds 44,000 jobs in October

Canada's economy gained 44,000 jobs last month, but unemployment continues to rise in Northeast B.C.
Statistics Canada says the economy gained 44,000 net new jobs in October but the increase was entirely due to part-time employment. A worker installs parts on the production line at Chrysler's plant, in Windsor, Ont., in a January 18, 2011, file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Robins

Canada's economy gained 44,000 jobs last month, but unemployment continues to rise in Northeast B.C.

The country's job gains in October were fuelled entirely by part-time employment that offset a loss in full-time positions, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The result is further evidence that Canada is struggling to create "quality, high-paying jobs," said David Madani, senior Canada economist at Capital Economics.

"Even though headline employment is rising, overall income growth still appears to be slowing sharply," Madani wrote in a note to clients.

The overall increase in employment was driven by 67,000 additional part-time positions for the month, while the number of full-time jobs fell by 23,000.

The national unemployment rate held steady at 7.0 per cent as more people entered the labour market, looking for work.

In Northeast B.C., the unemployment rate rose to 9.7 per cent in October, with 38,100 people employed. The region has shed nearly 2,000 jobs since the start of this year, when unemployment sat at 8.5 per cent at 40,000 people were employed in January.

In B.C., the province saw 1,000 fewer people employed in forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas in October. 

The province saw job gains in the goods-producing, agriculture, manufacturing, and construction sectors last month. It also saw gains in retail and wholesale trade, the finance sector, and public administration. 

Overall, the provincial unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 per cent. 

Nationally, economists had expected a loss of 10,000 jobs overall and the unemployment rate to remain unchanged, according to Thomson Reuters.

The increase in October follows an addition of some 67,000 jobs the previous month, which saw gains in both part-time and full-time work. There were also 26,000 jobs added to economy in August.

"All things considered, the economy has recovered fairly well from oil-related misfortunes earlier this year, but the low quality of recent job gains is still troubling," Madani said.

"The bigger challenge in the coming months for policy-makers will be trying to manage a housing slowdown without triggering a painful bust."

Compared with a year ago, there were 140,000 more jobs in October, including nearly 16,000 full-time and 124,000 part-time positions.

There were 21,000 more jobs in the goods-producing sector last month, boosted by a gain of 24,000 positions in the construction industry, which offset losses elsewhere. The natural resources sector also added 10,000 jobs, its first notable increase since March 2015.

Jobs were also added in other sectors, including wholesale and retail trade.

Ontario saw a 25,000 boost in jobs, while British Columbia increased by 15,000. The number of jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador fell by 5,600.

Statistics Canada also reported Friday that Canada's trade deficit hit a record $4.1 billion in September due to the import from South Korea of a module for the Hebron offshore oil project in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Economists had expected a deficit of $1.7 billion for September.

Imports rose 4.7 per cent to a record $47.6 billion in the month as import prices grew by 2.4 per cent and volumes increased 2.3 per cent.

Exports climbed 0.1 per cent to $43.5 billion as a 0.9 per cent increase in prices was offset by a 0.8 per cent decrease in volumes.

-- with Alaska Highway News files

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