Statistics Canada’s offices at Tunny’s Pasture in Ottawa are shown on Friday, March 8, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

The Canadian economy posted its biggest monthly job loss since the financial crisis as the unemployment rate also pushed higher in November.

Statistics Canada said Friday the economy lost 71,200 jobs last month and the unemployment rate rose four-tenths of a percentage point to 5.9 per cent to its highest point since August 2018 when it hit six per cent.

Economists on average had expected a gain of 10,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 5.5 per cent, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

The loss in jobs came as both full-time and part-time employment moved lower. The number of full-time jobs fell by 38,400, while part-time employment fell 32,800.

The goods-producing sector lost 26,600 jobs in the month as the number of manufacturing jobs fell by 27,500 jobs and the natural resources sector shed 6,500.

Meanwhile, the services sector lost 44,400 jobs as the number of public administration jobs fell by 24,900 jobs in November.

Regionally, Quebec lost 45,100 jobs in November due to a decline in manufacturing as well as accommodation and food services. Alberta and B.C. both lost 18,200 jobs.

Compared with November last year, the economy has added 293,000 jobs.

The jobs report followed a decision by the Bank of Canada earlier this week to keep its key interest rate on hold at 1.75 per cent, where it has been set for more than a year.

In making its decision, the central bank said the Canadian economy has remained resilient despite the global uncertainty caused by the trade war between the United States and China.

The Bank of Canada has stood out from many of its international peers who have moved to cut rates and loosen monetary policy in response to weakness in the global economy. The U.S. Federal Reserve has cut its rate three times this year.

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