Canada's Unemployment at 33-Year Low in October

Canada's economy added five times more jobs than forecast in October and the unemployment rate fell to a 33-year low, giving the central bank more reason to keep interest rates unchanged and pushing the dollar to a record.

The economy created 63,000 jobs and the jobless rate dropped to 5.8 percent, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Average hourly wages rose 4.1 percent from a year earlier, the third straight month they gained more than 4 percent.

The figures suggest the Bank of Canada was right to predict last month that job creation and the consumer spending it generates will help shield the Canadian economy from a slowdown in the U.S. that's hampering factory exports. Central bankers left borrowing costs unchanged in October and predicted the economy will grow 2.6 percent this year, with consumption making up more than 80 percent of that gain.

The Canadian dollar surged to $1.0677 at 9:59 a.m. in Toronto, the highest since the country let the currency float in 1950. The higher dollar makes Canadian goods more expensive in foreign markets, hurting the exports that make up about a third of the country's economy.

Hiring in October was led by 28,600 new jobs in health care and social assistance, and 23,800 new positions in the ``other services'' category which includes dry-cleaning, grant- making services and repair services, Statistics Canada said.

From January through October, the economy has added 346,000 jobs, the highest total for that 10-month period in five years, the statistics agency said, as an oil-and-gas boom in the west fuels hiring across the country.


Canada, Bloomberg
11/2/2007 7:31:08 AM