OTTAWA (Reuters) — Canada lost more jobs than expected last month, sending the unemployment rate up slightly and erasing the temporary boost the labour market had seen from October's federal election, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.
The economy shed 35,700 jobs in November, handily exceeding economists' forecasts for a loss of 10,000 jobs. The unemployment rate ticked up to 7.1 per cent, also defying expectations for it to hold steady at seven per cent.
Full-time jobs went up by 36,600 in November while part-time positions were down by 72,300.
The loss was led by a 32,500 decline in employment in the public administration sector, which was nearly entirely accounted for by a gain in October that had been due to hiring related to the election.
Other sectors saw declines, including trade and information, culture and recreation.
"Weaker than expected, though (it) has to be held in context with a solid gain we saw the previous month. In terms of implications for the Bank of Canada, I think it keeps them cautious, I think it just keeps them holding interest rates steady," said Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist at RBC.
In many ways, this is almost the mirror image of the October report, said Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.
"It looks to be essentially just a reversal of the temporary blip we saw in October. It's not nearly as dire as the headline would suggest. It's entirely due to a drop in part-time service sector jobs. Actually, if anything, the reversal on that front was even bigger than the build up in October. And likewise, the unemployment rate essentially reversed its one month improvement, so we're effectively back to square one."
"In tandem with the relatively healthy U.S. number and disappointing domestic trade number as well, I would say the grouping of reports today is a negative for the currency."