Canada Economy Adds 15,200 Jobs

Canada's economy gained more jobs than anticipated in August, led by education and construction.

Employers added 15,200 workers, Statistics Canada said in Ottawa, after last month's drop of 55,200 that was the biggest in 17 years. The unemployment rate remained 6.1 percent. Economists forecast 10,000 new jobs and the same jobless rate, according to the median of 24 estimates in Bloomberg surveys.

The economy may be a dominant issue in an election that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to call as soon as Sept. 7. The job market remains strong even as exporters are battered by a high currency, near-record energy costs and weak U.S. demand. Job and wage gains are helping boost the consumer spending that Harper and Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney are counting on to keep the economy growing this year.

A net 30,000 jobs were added in education in August as the school year approached, followed by 18,500 in construction and 15,900 in accommodation and food services. Manufacturers added 13,800 workers, though their payrolls are down by 67,300 from a year earlier.

Canada added a net 16,100 full-time jobs and shed 900 part- time jobs, the statistics agency said.

Average hourly wages advanced 3.8 percent in August from a year earlier, the slowest since July 2007 and trailing an 11-year high of 4.9 percent reached in February. Pay raises are still outpacing inflation, with the consumer price index advancing 3.4 percent in July from a year earlier.

Canada Economy Adds 15,200 Jobs,
9/5/2008 1:09:41 PM