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World

AFP
September 6, 2019

Canada jobless rate steady as election campaign nears

World

AFP
Fri, Sep 06, 2019

OTTAWA: Canada added 81,000 jobs in August after months of stagnant employment growth, the government reported Friday, days before the kickoff of election campaigning.

But the unemployment rate held steady at 5.7 percent as more people entered the labor force in search of work.

A strong economy augurs well for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as he readies to face off for a second term in a tight election race against his main rival, Tory leader Andrew Scheer.

Polls show the two main political parties are neck and neck ahead of the October 21 voting.

However, the world´s 10th largest economy is forecast to slow.

The bulk of the employment gains, according to Statistics Canada, were in the key election battlegrounds of eastern Ontario and Quebec, while the prairie provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan and New Brunswick on the Atlantic coast saw smaller gains. Most of the jobs were part- time.

More people were employed in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing; educational services; and in professional, scientific and technical services, while employment declined in business, building and other support services, it said.

More youths aged 15 to 24 and people aged 55 and over were also working in August.

Earlier this week the Bank of Canada held its key lending rate at 1.75 percent, saying it expects the Canadian economy to slow in the second half of the year.

A bump in domestic growth of 3.7 percent in the second quarter was likely temporary, the central bank concluded, amid an outlook dampened by the China-US trade conflict.

"If the Bank of Canada was on the fence about cutting rates in October, today´s jobs numbers might be one further push towards standing pat," commented CIBC analyst Avery Shenfeld in a research note, predicting that the central bank may look to cut rates in December at the earliest.

In a Twitter message, Trudeau said his government since coming to power in 2015 sought to "grow the middle class," adding that "there´s more work to do."

Sources told AFP the prime minister is planning to ask the governor general to dissolve parliament at the latest on Tuesday, kicking off the election campaign.