Canada Adds 54,500 Jobs in May, Unemployment Rate Climbs to 6.6%

Employment in Canada rose for a sixth straight month in May, besting market expectations by a wide margin, while the unemployment rate rose because more people went looking for work amid improving economic conditions.

Gains were led by full-time jobs in the private sector in another signal Canadian companies believe sales prospects are on the upswing.

The Canadian economy added a net 54,500 jobs in May, Statistics Canada said Friday. Market expectations were for a gain of 15,000 positions, according to economists at Royal Bank of Canada. On a year-over-year basis, Canadian employment increased 316,800 or 1.8%, which marks the fastest annual rise in job growth in over four years.

The country's unemployment rate rose to 6.6% in May from 6.5% in the previous month, matching market expectations. The uptick in the jobless rate can be attributed to an increase in the labor force of 78,400 -- or the largest one-month gain in the labor force since April, 2012.

Full-time employment rose 77,000 in the month, while the number of part-time jobs declined 22,300. The private sector added 59,400 workers.

Write to Paul Vieira at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 09, 2017 08:45 ET (12:45 GMT)