Live news: Canada’s labour market remains strong ahead of rate decision next week

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Canadian employment was little changed in November, but a small bump in job growth pointed to a labour market that has remained strong, despite the Canadian central bank’s efforts to cool the economy by aggressively raising interest rates.

The Canadian economy added 10,100 jobs in November, according to data from Statistics Canada released on Friday. That surpassed economists’ expectations for an increase of 5,000 jobs but fell below an increase of 108,000 jobs in October, which reversed summer job losses and returned employment to its recent peak in May.

The jobless rate fell 0.1 percentage point to 5.1 per cent, missing economist expectations for 5.3 per cent and falling closer to the record low of 4.9 per cent in June and July.

The participation rate, which measures the number of people in the labour force that are either employed or actively searching for a job, fell 0.1 percentage points to 64.8 per cent in November, below the recent high of 65.4 per cent in February and March.

November’s employment gains were widespread across industries, including finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, and manufacturing. However, employment fell in construction, wholesale and retail trade.

The average hourly wages of employees remained above 5 per cent for the six consecutive month in November, which could put pressure on the Bank of Canada as it attempts to cool wage growth to combat inflation.

Central bank officials will meet on December 7 for their final rate decision of the year. A low jobless rate, high average hourly wages and a strong labour market could influence the bank to raise rates more aggressively at its next meeting to slow growth, despite comments in October from Tiff Macklem, the bank’s governor, that it is nearing the end of its monetary tightening cycle.

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