Labour growth flat, but jobless rate dips to 5.8% as fewer search for work

Canada's unemployment rate edged back down to its four-decade low of 5.8 per cent last month as job growth was essentially flat and fewer people searched for work.

Statistics Canada's labour force survey says the country added 11,200 net new jobs in October, including a gain of 33,900 full-time positions, but the numbers were too low for the agency to consider them statistically significant.

Economists had expected an increase of 10,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of 5.9 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

The jobs report also says year-over-year average hourly wage growth, which is closely watched by the Bank of Canada, continued its steady decline in October to 2.19 per cent, its weakest reading since September 2017.

Experts have expected wage growth to strengthen in the tightened labour market, but it has dropped every month since May when it was 3.94 per cent.

The report also says a dip in the labour force participation rate helped nudge the jobless rate down from its 5.9 per cent reading in September to match the reading's 40-year low for the seventh time in last 12 months.

In New Brunswick, the unemployment rate dropped 0.7 per cent to 7.2 per cent in October.

The province had a net loss of 700 full-time and 1,000 part-time jobs, and the workforce decreased by 4,500 people.

With files from Charles Renshaw