Canada's job numbers relatively unchanged

(Shutterstock)

(Shutterstock)

Jessica Hume, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 2:21 PM ET

OTTAWA - The Canadian economy is still buffeted by the European debt crisis and a sluggish American economy as the job rate remained relatively flat over the past two months, Statistics Canada says.

The labour force survey, published Friday, reported the unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage point to 7.2% from 7.3% in May.

Vincent Farrao, co-author of the survey, said this reflects a shrinking labour pool as fewer Canadians looked for jobs.

Since May, 7,300 jobs were added nationally. That number isn't cause for celebration, but it's still higher than the 5,000 the financial markets expected, TD chief economist Craig Alexander said.

"People shouldn't be disappointed," Alexander told QMI Agency. "We saw extremely large gains in the two months prior. Today's numbers support the view the Canadian economy is growing at a slow pace."

About 39,000 public sector employees were added in June, despite "severe" federal jobs cuts. The strongest gains were made in the natural resource sector, which saw a 10.9% employment jump over the past year.

"There's lots of strength in the resource sector, but we've also seen commodity prices recently pulled back," Alexander said. "We're encouraged by the investment into this sector, but this is also where businesses have been reporting labour shortages."

Alberta's resource sector is experiencing such a severe labour shortage businesses there have been actively recruiting skilled foreign nationals.

The U.S. labour market saw a dismal 80,000 jobs added in June - not enough to budge its 8.2% unemployment rate. This spells bad news for Canada's manufacturing sector, which relies heavily on exports.

"Going forward, it will be interesting to see whether the manufacturing sectors stalls because of a weak global economy," Alexander said.

Full-time work has increased 1.6% since last year, while part-time work remained the same.

"We view full-time work as better jobs generally than part time," Alexander said. "So that strength in full-time employment is encouraging."


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