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The Manitoba economy churned out 8,000 new jobs in October and 11,400 new positions over the past 12 months, according to new Statistics Canada data released today.
The federal agency’s latest monthly labour market survey showed Manitoba gained 5,900 new full-time jobs during the month, along with 2,100 new part-time positions.
And over the past year, it churned out 15,800 new full-time positions. However, that was partially offset by the loss of 4,400 new part-time ones.
October’s unusually strong showing also drove down the provincial unemployment rate to 5.0 per cent from 5.3 per cent in September. That’s the third-lowest jobless rate in the country after Saskatchewan’s 3.5 per cent and Alberta’s 4.5 per cent.
October was the second straight month of employment gains for Manitoba. Preliminary numbers released last month showed the province had a net gain of 1,200 new jobs in September, all of them full-time positions.
Nationally, Canada’s economy generated 43,100 net new jobs in October and dropped the unemployment rate to 6.5 per cent, its lowest level since November 2008.
Statistics Canada said the national jobless rate fell 0.3 percentage points in October, compared with the previous month.
October’s gain followed an increase of 74,100 jobs for September and was the first time since December 2012 the roller-coaster jobs report recorded two consecutive months of employment growth, the agency said.
Economists had predicted the economy to lose 5,000 jobs in October and for the unemployment rate to remain unchanged, according to Thomson Reuters.
Finance Minister Joe Oliver took the unusual step of holding a news conference to discuss the results, an hour after the numbers were made public.
"Our plans for jobs and growth is working in spite of a fragile international economic environment," Oliver told reporters in Toronto.
"As I said before, we don’t rely on one single month but when we have two months ... then of course you start to see a trend, which is very positive."
The report found employment was up one per cent from a year ago, with the increases of the past two months making up about two-thirds of that boost.
Provincially, the survey listed job gains in Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, while employment decreased in New Brunswick. Other provinces saw only marginal changes in employment.
— Staff/Canadian Press