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Surge in job growth drives unemployment rate down to new 40-year low of 5.6%

OTTAWA — A blast of 94,100 new jobs last month has knocked the country’s unemployment rate down to 5.6 per cent — its lowest level since Statistics Canada started measuring comparable data more than 40 years ago.

The overall number marked the monthly labour force survey’s largest increase since March 2012 when there was a gain of 94,000 jobs.

Statistics Canada says the November employment surge was fuelled by the addition of 89,900 full-time positions.

The increase pushed the jobless rate down from October’s reading of 5.8 per cent — which had been the previous low mark since comparable data first became available in 1976.

But there are also disappointing details in the report because year-over-year average hourly wage growth for permanent employees continued its decline in November to 1.46 per cent — its weakest reading since July 2017.

Experts have been expecting wage growth to rise thanks to the tightened labour market — but it has dropped every month since its May peak 3.9 per cent and is now well below inflation.

The Canadian Press