Canada sheds 51,600 jobs to push up unemployment rate, but full-time work rises

The Canadian economy lost 51,600 net jobs last month in a decrease that drove up the unemployment rate and essentially wiped out the big gain in July.

Statistics Canada's labour force survey says the jobless rate hit six per cent in August, up from 5.8 per cent in July.

Economists had expected an increase of 5,000 jobs for the month and the unemployment rate to be 5.9 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

The employment drop last month was fuelled by a loss of 92,000 part-time positions _ but on the positive side the number of full-time jobs rose by 40,400.

The August decline followed a comparable net increase of 54,100 positions in July.

Ontario experienced the biggest decrease of the provinces by far with a loss of 80,100 jobs _ almost all of which were part-time positions.

Compared with 12 months earlier, national employment was up 0.9 per cent following the addition of 171,700 jobs, including 326,100 full-time positions.

The latest report also says average hourly wage growth, which is closely watched by the Bank of Canada, continued its gradual slide last month to 2.9 per cent after expanding 3.2 per cent in July and 3.6 per cent in June.

The agency says the economy lost 38,000 public-sector jobs last month, while the private sector shed 30,700 positions.