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Canada adds 80,000 jobs in November, unemployment down to 5.9% 

Employment increased for the second consecutive month, up 80,000 in November. The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 5.9%, the lowest rate since February 2008.

In the 12 months to November, employment was up by 390,000 (+2.1%), with all the gains attributable to full-time work (+441,000 or +3.0%) as part-time employment was down slightly. Over the same period, total hours worked grew by 1.0%.

The unemployment rate trended downwards in the 12 months to November, falling 0.9 percentage points over this period.

The lion’s share of national employment growth in November was recorded in Ontario, with 44,000 more people employed, mostly in wholesale and retail trade as well as in manufacturing. The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 5.5%, the lowest rate since July 2000. Ontario has seen a downward trend in the unemployment rate since the start of 2016. Year-over-year employment gains in the province totalled 181,000 (+2.6%), all in full-time work.

In British Columbia, 18,000 more people were employed in November, bringing year-over-year gains to 92,000 (+3.8%), mostly in full-time work. The unemployment rate was 4.8% in November, little changed from the previous month, though still the lowest among the provinces.

Employment in Quebec grew for the second consecutive month, up 16,000 in November. Most of the increase was in manufacturing and construction. With more people employed and fewer searching for work, the unemployment rate fell by 0.7 percentage points to 5.4%, continuing a notable downward trend that began at the start of 2016. The November unemployment rate in Quebec was also the lowest recorded since January 1976—when comparable data became available. In the 12 months to November, employment gains in the province totalled 78,000 (+1.9%), all in full-time work.

In Prince Edward Island, 1,400 more people were employed in November, reducing the unemployment rate to a record low of 8.8% (-1.5 percentage points). In the 12 months to November, employment gains in the province totalled 2,500 (+3.5%).

Following gains in October, employment in New Brunswick fell by 2,700 in November, all in part-time work. The unemployment rate increased 0.5 percentage points to 8.3%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was little changed.

Employment in Alberta held steady in November, and the unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percentage points to 7.3% as fewer people looked for work. Year-over-year employment growth in the province totalled 34,000 (+1.5%), all in full-time work.

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