Canada's Unemployment Rose to 5.9% in November


Canada's economy added more jobs than forecast in November and wage growth accelerated to match a record pace, indicating the economy is still running at full tilt even as a high currency curbs exports.

Canadian employers hired a net 42,600 workers in November, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Average hourly wages rose 4.2 percent from a year earlier, accelerating from 4.1 percent in October. The jobless rate rose to 5.9 percent from 5.8 percent in October as more people entered the workforce.

Growth in household spending, fueled by a strong labor market, has sustained the Canadian economy's expansion in recent years, offsetting the currency's effect on exports. Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge cut interest rates on Dec. 4, citing worries that tighter credit conditions will curb growth, while warning that the economy is still up against its capacity.

Economists forecast 8,000 jobs and an increase in the unemployment rate to 5.9 percent, according to the median of 23 and 22 estimates in two Bloomberg News surveys.

The Canadian currency last month surged to 90.58 Canadian cents per U.S. dollar, the highest since the country let it float in 1950, before paring those gains in recent weeks. A higher dollar makes Canadian goods more expensive in foreign markets, squeezing the exports that make up about a third of the country's economy.

Hiring in November was led by service-sector companies involved in natural resources and transportation, Statistics Canada said.

Governments were responsible for 18,700 new jobs, while non- state employers added 48,900, the agency said.


Bloomberg
12/7/2007 6:23:54 AM