OTTAWA - The Canadian economy added 34,300 jobs in August, recouping all 30,400 positions lost in July as it returned to the recent trend of slow net increases in employment, according to Statistics Canada data released on Friday.
The gains topped all expectations by analysts surveyed by Reuters, who predicted on average a gain of 10,000, with the highest predictions at 25,000 new jobs.
The unemployment rate remained at 7.3 percent, as forecast, because more Canadians looked for work in August.
All the job gains were part time, mirroring losses in July. August saw an estimated 46,700 new part-time positions and 12,500 fewer full-time jobs. In July, there was a loss of 51,600 part-time jobs and a gain of 21,300 full-time positions.
March and April saw a whopping 140,500 new jobs, but the trend settled in May and June to a more sustainable pace of more than 7,000 new jobs each month before July’s surprise loss.
Analysts had said they had not seen sudden economic bursts or slowdowns associated with the recent fluctuations. Indeed, the figures are only estimates based on a sample survey, with a one-in-three chance that the actual employment total is 28,600 higher or lower than the Statscan estimate.
Canada has recouped all the jobs lost in the recession, and employment stands 176,600 higher than in August 2011, with virtually all the increase in full-time positions.
The construction industry, which may be cooling off after a housing boom, lost 44,000 positions in August and now has 30,400 fewer jobs than a year earlier. All figures are seasonally adjusted.
All of the net new jobs in August were in the service sector, with the biggest increases in transportation, warehousing, professional and scientific services.
The Canadian dollar firmed to a session high of C$0.9804 to the U.S. dollar after jobs data was released for both Canada and the United States. Employment growth in the United States was weaker than expected.