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Manitoba's economy churns out 6,600 new jobs

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The Manitoba economy churned out another 6,600 new jobs in September — the second consecutive month of healthy employment gains, Statistics Canada said today.

The gains, which included 4,300 full-time and 2,400 part-time positions (rounded off), drove down the provincial unemployment rate to five per cent from 5.4 per cent in August.

That’s the third lowest jobless rate in the country after Alberta’s 4.4 per cent and Saskatchewan’s 4.7 per cent, the Statistics Canada labour force numbers show.

August was also a good month for job creation in Manitoba, with 3,400 new positions added, all of them full-time.

Canada’s domestic economy also 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.

The gain was the third biggest of the year and surprised the experts, which had expected a 10,000 pick-up.

But in another surprise, it wasn’t enough to put a dent in the unemployment rate, which actually edged up one-tenth of a point to 7.4 per cent. That’s because while thousands of Canadians found work in September, even more — 72,600 — joined the labour force.

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 the general slowdown around the world, particularly the United States, Europe and China.

September’s increase brought year-over-year job creation to 175,000.

The report was even stronger than August’s 34,000 jobs increase, which were all part-time.

Last month, the vast majority 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.

--With files from Canadian Press

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