Canada's unemployment rate fell to 9 per cent in September, down from the peak of 13.7 per cent in May. (Patrick Kelley/Bloomberg)

Canadian economy adds 378,000 jobs in September

Canada’s economy added 378,000 new jobs in September as public health restrictions eased across the country and many businesses and workplaces re-opened following massive shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in early spring, Statistics Canada reported Friday.

September’s job numbers came on top of 246,000 jobs the economy added in August, driving the unemployment rate to 9 per cent, down from the peak of 13.7 per cent in May, the national statistics agency reported.

There were 1.8 million unemployed Canadians in September, down 214,000 from August and continuing the four-month downward trend from the record-high 2.6 million unemployed people in May, the data agency said.

Employment increased in every province except New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island in September, with the largest gains in Ontario and Quebec.

Most of the employment increase in September was in full-time work, which rose by 334,000, building on gains of 206,000 full-time positions in August, Statistics Canada said.

RBC senior economist Nathan Janzen said the increase in employment marked an unexpected acceleration from August.

“Still, the numbers will do little to calm concerns that the broader pace of the recovery in labour markets is slowing,” Janzen said in a research note to clients.

And the larger concern remains the extent to which the latest increase in coronavirus infections across Canada will prompt additional containment measures and keep more people at home, he added.

“The near-term economic bounce-back through the summer has been stronger than feared in the spring, but the outlook is still exceptionally cloudy,” Janzen wrote.

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