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Canada’s unemployment rate rose to 6.4 per cent in June as jobs market stalls

The Canadian economy lost 1,400 jobs in June as the unemployment rate climbed to its highest level in more than two years, Statistics Canada said Friday.

In its monthly labour force survey report, the agency said the unemployment rate came in at 6.4 per cent for the month, up from 6.2 per cent in May, as the size of the labour force grew.

The June result was the highest reading for the unemployment rate since January 2022 when it was 6.5 per cent.

Statistics Canada noted the unemployment rate has trended up since April 2023, rising 1.3 percentage points over that period.

It also said that as the unemployment rate has increased, so has the proportion of long-term unemployed with 17.6 per cent of those unemployed in June having been continuously jobless for 27 weeks or more, up four percentage points from a year earlier.

The overall loss in the number of jobs in June came as the economy lost 3,400 full-time positions, offset in part by a gain of 1,900 part-time jobs.

Statistics Canada said the number of people working in transportation and warehousing fell by 11,700, while those in public administration dropped by 8,800.

The accommodation and food services sector added 17,200 jobs and the number of those working in agriculture grew by 12,300.

The jobs report is a key data point ahead of the next Bank of Canada interest rate decision set for July 24.

The central bank cut its key interest rate last month for the first time since the early days of the pandemic. The bank’s policy interest rate stands at 4.75 per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2024.

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