Shock for Canada as unemployment rises

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The most recent employment statistics have come as a shock to some after the economy lost an estimated 31,200 jobs last month, contrary to what analysts had previously predicted.

Experts had expected Canada to create about 10,000 jobs in July but the country saw unemployment rise to 6.9 per cent instead. Disappointment was even more concentrated in Alberta, where the unemployment rate hit a 22-year high of 8.6 per cent.

"The driving regional story for more than a year has been the outsized strength in B.C. and the pronounced weakness in Alberta, and the latest job numbers simply reinforced that trend," said BMO chief economist Douglas Porter.

Porter told CBC that only three provinces has posted job gains – B.C., New Brunswick and Manitoba – which was yet another sign that “underlying growth is struggling”.

Full-time jobs fell dramatically over the period with 71,400 positions lost – according to Statistics Canada, the figure marks the biggest one-month decline since October 2011. The extensive losses were offset by an increase of 40,200 part-time jobs.

Younger Canadians have been worst affected by the job losses with the federal agency reporting there were 28,000 fewer jobs for the 15-24 age group.

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