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Province's jobless rate down in November

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There was economic optimism on Friday with news from Statistics Canada that Manitoba's jobless rate fell to 5.3 per cent in November, down from 5.6 in the previous month.

On a national basis, Canada's unemployment rate in November was 7.2 per cent which was a five-month low.

Statistics Canada said Canada’s economy generated a surprisingly strong 59,300 new jobs last month which were nearly all full time and in the private sector. The unexpectedly robust performance dropped the country’s unemployment rate 0.2 points to 7.2 per cent, the lowest it has been since June.

With November’s results, Statistics Canada said employment gains in Canada have reached 294,000, mostly full-time, over the past 12 months.

By industry, employment rose about 28,000 in the accommodation and food services industries, while retail and wholesale trade increased by about 25,000, and professional, scientific and technical services picked up 23,000.

Manufacturing had a bad month, losing 20,000 workers. There were also 15,000 fewer workers in the other services category.

CIBC World Markets economist Avery Shenfeld told the Canadian Press that November’s strong gains were a good sign. However he said it was less positive that all the gains were in the service sector while there were fewer manufacturing and construction jobs.

"Still, the report represented a splash of good news that has been in short supply in recent months," Shenfeld said in a brief note.

Canada’s dollar was up about a quarter of a cent against the U.S. dollar after the jobs report, rising to about 101.14 cents US.

Regionally, Ontario saw the most improvement with a pick-up of 32,000 jobs, dropping the province’s unemployment rate 0.4 points to 7.9. Quebec gained about 18,000 jobs and Alberta 10,000.

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