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Canada’s unemployment rate holds steady at 5.8% in December

Wholesale and retail trade employment falls for third consecutive month

Canada’s job market was virtually unchanged in December as the unemployment rate held steady at 5.8%.

The country’s employment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 61.6%, Statistics Canada reported in its Labour Force Survey released Friday (Jan. 5). 

There were more people employed in professional, scientific and technical services (up 2.4%), health care and social assistance (up 0.6%) and "other services,” which includes personal and repair services (up 1.5%) in December. 

Five industries saw declines in employment, led by wholesale and retail trade (down 0.7%) and manufacturing ( down 1%).

December marked the third consecutive month that wholesale and retail trade saw a dip in employment. 

Employment increased in four provinces in December, led by British Columbia, which saw an increase of 0.6%. Employment declined in Ontario by 0.6%.

On a year-over-year basis, average hourly wages rose 5.4% to $34.45 in December, following an increase of 4.8% in November.

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