Workers are pictured at the Vancouver Shipyard in North Vancouver on October 7, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

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

The latest jobs figures arrived less than a week before the Bank of Canada’s next interest-rate decision.

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

The agency’s latest labour force survey shows 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 found that average hourly wage growth, which is closely watched by the Bank of Canada, remained strong last month at 3.6 per cent. The number, however, did come down from its nine-year high in May of 3.9 per cent.

The latest jobs figures arrived less than a week before the Bank of Canada’s next interest-rate decision.

Expectations have strengthened that governor Stephen Poloz will raise the benchmark for the first time since January. Experts predict the move even though the economy is facing significant uncertainty from Canada’s intensifying trade dispute with the United States as well as growing fears of a global trade war.

Related: Economy expands 1.7% in fourth quarter of 2017

Related: Economic outlook projects stable growth for B.C.

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.

A closer look at the June 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.

The goods-producing sector added 46,600 positions in June thanks to job-creation boosts in construction, natural resources and manufacturing.

Services sectors, meanwhile, lost 14,700 jobs mostly because of big decreases in accommodation and food services positions as well as wholesale and trade.

Ontario added 34,900 jobs for an increase of 0.5 per cent compared with the previous month, while Saskatchewan posted its largest monthly gain in over six years with the creation of 8,300 positions, which represented 1.5 per cent growth.

Youth unemployment increased to 11.7 per cent last month, up from 11.1 in May.

In a separate report Friday, Statistics Canada said the country’s merchandise trade deficit with the world widened in May to nearly $2.8 billion. The international trade deficit was about $1.9 billion in April and $3.9 billion in March.

The May numbers show that imports expanded 1.7 per cent, while exports dipped 0.1 per cent.

Higher imports in May of aircraft, other transportation equipment and energy products fuelled most of the increase. The figure for aircraft imports more than tripled to $937 million due to the purchase of several air liners from the U.S.

Exports declined mostly because of weaker trade on motor vehicles and parts as well as metal ores and non-metallic minerals.

The report showed that Canada’s trade surplus with the U.S. narrowed to $3.3 billion in May, from $3.7 billion April, as more imports headed north across the border and south-bound exports decreased.

Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Ambitious B.C. Aviation Museum need $10M to get iconic Lancaster back in the air

Volunteers flock to work on bomber, restoration expected to take 10 years

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority to fall fake eagle tree at Ogden Point

Last year a fake tree was installed to try to entice eagles to stay in the area, without much success

Saanich to recognize Coun. Judy Brownoff for a quarter century on council

Award presentation will take place Monday evening

Saanich to potentially host first hydrogen fuel station on Vancouver Island

Station proposed for corner of Quadra Street and McKenzie Avenue

UVic project shows Keating Elementary students a helping hand

Victoria Hand Project offers free 3D printed arms in eight countries

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

Inspirational Vancouver Island youngster dies after battle with brain cancer

Kaiden Finley ‘was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

Most Read