Following three consecutive months of little change, employment increased by 81,000 in August, largely in part-time work, according to the latest job numbers released by Statistics Canada. (iStock)

Canada added 81,000 jobs in August, mostly part time: Statistics Canada

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Canada’s economy surprised economists once again by churning out 81,100 net new positions last month, according to a new job data released by Statistics Canada Friday.

However, the bulk of these new jobs were part time, concentrated in the services sector and picked up by young people.

Statistics Canada says that even with the unexpected increase – economists were expecting only about 15,000 jobs – the August unemployment rate stayed at 5.7 per cent — near a four-decade low — as more people looked for work.

“Canadian economic data have surprised to the upside recently and this morning’s jobs numbers kept that rolling with an unexpectedly strong 81,000 increase in August,” Josh Nye, senior economist with RBC wrote in an analysis note.

Impressive job gains are nothing new— average employment growth over the last year is running at its strongest pace since 2003, he added.

Wage growth, long the missing ingredient in Canada’s strengthening labour market, has firmed nicely, Nye said.

The agency’s latest labour force survey says the country saw a rush last month of 73,300 new positions in services industries and a boost of 94,300 jobs in the private sector.

The report says 57,200 of the new jobs were part time and 42,000 of the positions were held by young workers aged 15 to 24.

“If the Bank of Canada was on the fence about cutting interest rates in October, today’s jobs data would be one more shove in the direction of standing pat for now,” Avery Shenfeld, managing director and chief economist of CIBC Capital Markets, wrote in a note to clients.

By province, the biggest employment increases were in Ontario and Quebec, while Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick saw smaller gains.

With files from The Canadian Press

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