OTTAWA—Canada’s unemployment rate inched down to 7.2 per cent last month as employers added 7,300 net new jobs, with Ontario the only province showing any significant gains, Statistics Canada reported Friday.
That number of new jobs usually isn’t enough to reduce the national unemployment rate—it had been 7.3 per cent in May—but June also saw a 16,600 drop in the number of active workers which reduced the overall size of the labour force, Statistics Canada explained.
June unemployment rates. May in brackets:
• Newfoundland 13.0 (12.0)
• Prince Edward Island 11.3 (11.3)
• Nova Scotia 9.6 (9.2)
• New Brunswick 9.5 (9.4)
• Quebec 7.7 (7.8)
• Ontario 7.7 (7.8)
• Manitoba 5.2 (5.1)
• Saskatchewan 4.9 (4.5)
• Alberta 4.6 (4.5)
• British Columbia 6.6 (7.4)
It was the second month in a row that Canada saw minimal job gains after two stunning months—March and April—when the economy added 140,000 jobs.
Ontario was the exception last month, adding 20,200 new full-time jobs in June.
Prior to the release Friday morning, economists had predicted a tight job market in June given the deteriorating global outlook and deepening debt and financial crisis in Europe.
Recent confidence surveys have all pointed to weakening conditions and minimal hiring as businesses attempt to ride out the weak outlook.
There were some bright spots in the report, if few. Full-time employment rose by 29,300, offset by a 22,000 decline in part-time work. And the number of employees rose by 12,800 as self-employment dropped.
Most of the gains last month occurred in the public sector, which saw a 38,900 gain, while the private sector shed 26,000 jobs. Self-employment fell by 5,500.
Statistics Canada said the biggest gains were in business, building and other support services, where employment rose by about 24,000. Health care and social assistance added 20,000 and there was a gain of 19,000 in educational services.
Offsetting the employment gains, the number of workers in the information, culture and recreation fields fell by 31,000, while there were 20,000 fewer agricultural workers in June. There were also minor declines in construction and manufacturing.