OTTAWA — The country’s labour force ballooned by 44,400 net jobs last month thanks to a surge in temporary public-administration work likely generated by the federal election, Statistics Canada says.
The agency’s latest job-market report also said Friday that the increase helped push October’s unemployment rate down one tenth of a percentage point to seven per cent.
The report noted how the reference week for the latest survey that registered a gain of 32,000 public-administration jobs overlapped some of the final days before the Oct. 19 election. The poll was taken between Oct. 11 and Oct. 17.
“The increase was seen across all provinces and mostly in temporary work, and coincided with activities related to the recent federal election,” the agency wrote.
Historically, Statistics Canada’s jobs report has detected similar, temporary spikes in employment during election and census periods.
The October data also showed that the number of part-time positions soared by 35,400, while full-time jobs crept up by just 9,000.
The overall net rise in employment last month was higher than economists’ expectations of a 10,000-job increase. It also surpassed the 12,000 positions added in September.
The agency also found that 143,400 more people were working compared to a year ago and that the overall employment number eclipsed 18 million last month for the first time.
The report said the country added 41,300 positions in the private sector last month and gained 30,500 public-sector jobs.
It also found that the youth unemployment rate fell to 13.3 per cent, down from 13.5 per cent in September. The economy added 14,100 net positions last month for young workers, aged 15 to 24, compared to the month before.
By province, Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Manitoba added jobs, while energy-rich Alberta, hit hard by the decline in oil prices, registered a decline. The other provinces only saw small changes.