Workers are pictured at the Vancouver Shipyard in North Vancouver on October 7, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Economy adds 31,800 jobs in June, unemployment rate rises to 6.0%

The latest jobs figures arrived less than a week before the Bank of Canada’s next interest-rate decision.

A healthy gain of 31,800 jobs last month wasn’t enough to keep the country’s unemployment rate from rising to six per cent as more people searched for work, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The agency’s latest labour force survey shows the jobless rate for June increased from 5.8 per cent in May to break the six per cent barrier for the first time since last October, when it was 6.2.

The unemployment rate moved up last month despite the addition of new jobs because nearly 76,000 more people entered the workforce.

The report also found that average hourly wage growth, which is closely watched by the Bank of Canada, remained strong last month at 3.6 per cent. The number, however, did come down from its nine-year high in May of 3.9 per cent.

The latest jobs figures arrived less than a week before the Bank of Canada’s next interest-rate decision.

Expectations have strengthened that governor Stephen Poloz will raise the benchmark for the first time since January. Experts predict the move even though the economy is facing significant uncertainty from Canada’s intensifying trade dispute with the United States as well as growing fears of a global trade war.

Related: Economy expands 1.7% in fourth quarter of 2017

Related: Economic outlook projects stable growth for B.C.

Compared with a year earlier, overall employment was up 1.2 per cent following the creation of 214,900 jobs, which was driven by 284,100 new full-time positions.

A closer look at the June numbers shows Canada added 9,100 full-time jobs in June and 22,700 part-time positions. The public sector gained 11,800 jobs and the private sector lost 2,000.

The goods-producing sector added 46,600 positions in June thanks to job-creation boosts in construction, natural resources and manufacturing.

Services sectors, meanwhile, lost 14,700 jobs mostly because of big decreases in accommodation and food services positions as well as wholesale and trade.

Ontario added 34,900 jobs for an increase of 0.5 per cent compared with the previous month, while Saskatchewan posted its largest monthly gain in over six years with the creation of 8,300 positions, which represented 1.5 per cent growth.

Youth unemployment increased to 11.7 per cent last month, up from 11.1 in May.

In a separate report Friday, Statistics Canada said the country’s merchandise trade deficit with the world widened in May to nearly $2.8 billion. The international trade deficit was about $1.9 billion in April and $3.9 billion in March.

The May numbers show that imports expanded 1.7 per cent, while exports dipped 0.1 per cent.

Higher imports in May of aircraft, other transportation equipment and energy products fuelled most of the increase. The figure for aircraft imports more than tripled to $937 million due to the purchase of several air liners from the U.S.

Exports declined mostly because of weaker trade on motor vehicles and parts as well as metal ores and non-metallic minerals.

The report showed that Canada’s trade surplus with the U.S. narrowed to $3.3 billion in May, from $3.7 billion April, as more imports headed north across the border and south-bound exports decreased.

Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

West Kootenay rod and gun clubs slammed for animal-killing contests

Wildlife activists are targeting the club and two other B.C. organizations

Interior Health hospitals to serve more made in B.C. food

New initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture to serve more B.C. produced food in hospitals

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Vancouver driver ticketed twice within 6 minutes for same offence

The man was written up by two different officers for using an electronic device

B.C. teacher reprimanded after incident with Grade 11 student in school gym

Gregory Norman Brock was teaching at a high school in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District

B.C. man ‘parks’ horse during liquor store pit stop

As long as animal wasn’t jaywalking, no problem, says Parksville official

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Starbucks to test recyclable cups, redesign stores in B.C., U.S. cities

The company also said it plans to redesign its stores as it adapts to increasing mobile pick-up and delivery orders

In pre-election budget, Liberals boost infrastructure cash to cities, broadband

The budget document says the Liberals have approved more than 33,000 projects, worth about $19.9 billion in federal financing

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

Most Read