OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian employment rose by 17,500 jobs in December, roughly in line with expectations, but the new jobs were all part-time and not enough to offset the previous two months of declines, according to data released by Statistics Canada.
The unemployment rate rose to its highest level since April despite the rise in employment, climbing to 7.5 per cent from November's 7.4 per cent, as more people participated in the job market.
The number of employees on payrolls declined, with the self-employed category picking up the slack, said Scotia Capital economist Derek Holt.
"I think this continues the trend towards disconcerting Canadian jobs reports and we've definitely lost momentum in Canadian jobs markets," he said.
The economy ended the year with employment growth of 1.2 per cent, or 199,000 jobs, all of them full-time. But the second half of the year has shown only 7,000 new positions.
In December, full-time employment fell by 25,500 while part-time rose by 43,100. In October and November, the economy shed 72,600 positions, 37,100 of them full-time.
The struggling manufacturing sector racked up its biggest gain in a year, adding 30,400 jobs after losses of 79,000 in the previous three months. Manufacturing ended the year down 50,000 jobs from 12 months earlier.
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