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Strong Manitoba economy pushes down unemployment

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WINNIPEG — The Manitoba economy continued it’s sometimes-erratic behaviour in August, gaining back all of the jobs it lost in the previous month and then some, according to new Statistics Canada numbers released today.

The federal agency said the Manitoba economy posted a net gain (rounded off) of 3,400 new jobs last month, after adding 7,300 new full-time positions and shedding 4,000 part-time ones.

That was almost the exact opposite of what happened in July, when the economy shed 5,100 full-time jobs and added 1,800 new part-time ones, for a net gain (rounded off) of 3,300.

The reversal in fortunes pushed the provincial unemployment rate back down to 5.4 per cent. The July job losses had driven it up to 5.7 per cent from 5.2 per cent in June.

The other piece of good news was the addition of 1,400 more workers to the provincial labour force in August, after seeing no change in the previous month.

Nationally, the jobs data was also much better than expected, with 34,000 new jobs being created in August. That was much better than the approximately 11,000 new jobs economists had expected.

Despite the gains, the national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.3 per cent.

The surprisingly strong job-creation performance drove up the value of the Canadian dollar by 0.21 of a cent to 101.96 cents US.

Although it was good news on the Canadian job-creation front, it was a much different story in the U.S., where job creation missed modest expectations. Job gains for June and July were also revised lower.

The U.S. Labour Department reported that only 96,000 jobs were created in August, less than the 125,000 that had been forecast. The jobless rate edged down to 8.1 per cent from 8.3 per cent, but that was because of fewer people looking for work.

And to top it all off, it added that 41,000 fewer jobs had been created in June and July than previously reported.

The poor showing raised hopes that the U.S. Federal Reserve will embark on another round of economic stimulus to help support the economic recovery.

— with files by Canadian Press

murray.mcneill@freepress.mb.ca

 

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