Canada's job market produces another surprise gain in September

1,500 jobs lost, but unemployment rate declines in September

Unemployment rate declines in September

Canada has now added 358,100 since December, the most in the first nine months of a year since 2002.

"Even so, the healthy job market, along with the rebounding housing market, further reduces the already low odds that the Bank of Canada will match recent Fed rate cuts anytime soon".

The unemployment rate is down year-over-year from 8.2 per cent to 7.2, but the number of people employed is unchanged and the participation rate has climbed from 67 to 67.6 per cent.

Canada's unemployment rate nudged down to a near four-decade low last month as the economy added more jobs than analysts expected - dropping an economic figure into a tight electoral race, and warnings from economists that things may not be as rosy as they seem. This, coupled with a jump in the participation rate from 68.9 to 69.1 per cent, pushed the unemployment rate up 0.2 points to 5.3 per cent. That returned wage growth to close to July's 4.5 per cent, the fastest pace since the Great Recession. Likewise, the Ontario Progressive Conservatives - whom Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has used as a foil during the federal campaign - also took credit for the 41,000 jobs created in the province in September.

Employment was down by 2,400 jobs in the forestry, fishing, mining, and oil and gas sectors.

Employment has increased by more than 450,000 jobs, or 2.4 per cent, over the past 12 months.

The Canadian dollar traded at $1.3207, about 0.8 per cent stronger on the week. Economists don't expect growth in the second half of the year to be much better, with forecasts of about 1.5 per cent annualized. "Growth is still quite modest in this country, so we're not getting a whole lot of payback from those strong job gains", Porter said.

He suggested that the employment boom may be more related to Canada's population growth, fuelled primarily by relatively high levels of immigration.

The survey also said that young workers aged 15 to 24 years old saw drops in the ranks of full- and part-time workers, inching their unemployment rate to 11.9 per cent - not all that dissimilar from the same time one year ago. -China trade war casting uncertainty over the future.

Regardless, economists said the strong job numbers decrease the likelihood that the Bank of Canada will cut interest rates in the near term. Porter said. "Any cut at all is fading".

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