Economy adds 31,800 jobs in June, unemployment rate rises to 6.0%

A healthy gain of 31,800 jobs last month wasn't enough to keep Canada's unemployment rate from rising to six per cent as more people searched for work.

Statistics Canada's latest labour force survey showed the jobless rate for June increased from 5.8 per cent in May to break the six per cent barrier for the first time since last October, when it was 6.2.

The unemployment rate moved up last month despite the addition of new jobs because nearly 76,000 more people entered the workforce.

The report also says average hourly wage growth, which is closely watched by the Bank of Canada, remained strong last month at 3.6, although it did come down from its nine-year high in May of 3.9 per cent.

A closer look at the numbers shows Canada added 9,100 full-time jobs in June and 22,700 part-time positions. 

The public sector gained 11,800 jobs and the private sector lost 2,000.

In New Brunswick, the unemployment rate increased from 7.3 per cent to 7.5 per cent. 

The province saw a loss of 2,300 full-time positions, while 1,300 part-time jobs were added. 

Compared with a year earlier, overall employment was up 1.2 per cent following the creation of 214,900 jobs, which was driven by 284,100 new full-time positions.~ With files from The Canadian Press.