Employers shed a net 70,600 workers, almost three times as many as economists anticipated, after a gain of 9,500 in October. The unemployment rate rose to a two-year high of 6.3 percent from 6.2 percent the month before.
The figures come a day after Prime Minister Stephen Harper suspended Parliament to prevent being toppled by opposition parties who say he hasn’t done enough to help an economy that may have already slipped into recession.
Factory owners slashed payrolls by 38,300 workers in November, the most since January 2006, and another 26,000 jobs were lost in transportation and warehousing. Employment in public administration fell by 26,700, after hiring in that sector jumped by 39,800 in October as Canada geared up for national elections on Oct. 14.
The economy is suffering from weak demand in the U.S. and slumping prices for commodities such as oil and wheat, which generate about half the country’s export revenue. Automakers and forestry companies have been among the hardest hit.
Ontario, Canada’s manufacturing hub, fared the worst among provinces in November with a 66,000 net job loss. Ontario’s unemployment rate jumped to 7.1 percent from 6.5 percent in October, matching neighboring Quebec for the first time in more than three decades, Statistics Canada said.
Gross domestic product in Canada will contract 1 percent in the current quarter and 0.4 percent in the first quarter of 2009, meeting the technical definition of a recession, according to government forecasts. Consumer spending is slowing and exports will probably decline next year on commodity prices and as U.S. and global demand wane.