N.S. unemployment rate slightly up in December, no change nationally

Statistics Canada office

The unemployment rate in Nova Scotia inched up one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.1 in December, despite positive job gains.

Statistics Canada says the province added 1,100 net full-time positions and 300 net part-time jobs for the month, but the labour force grew by 1,500.

Over the course of 2018, Nova Scotia gained a net 7,700 full-time jobs and lost 2,000 part-time positions.

Nationally, the unemployment rate stayed at its 43-year low of 5.6 per cent last month as the economy closed out 2018 with the addition of 9,300 net new jobs.

Year-over-year average hourly wage growth for permanent employees was 1.46 per cent in November, and it has decelerated steadily since its May peak of 3.9 per cent.

Looking back at 2018, Statistics Canada says the country gained 163,300 net new jobs for an increase of 0.9 per cent, which was a slower pace of growth compared with 2.3 per cent in 2017 and 1.2 per cent in 2016.

Employment growth in 2018 was mostly concentrated in the services sectors, which generated 151,000 positions compared with an increase of just 12,300 in goods-producing industries.

(With files from The Canadian Press)