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Jobless rate rises to 7.5 per cent in November

Canadian Press
OTTAWA (CP) - An increase in the number of people looking for work last month pushed the unemployment rate for November up to 7.5 per cent from 7.3 per cent in October, Statistics Canada said Friday. That's the highest rate in Canada in more than two years, the agency added.

The overall number of jobs available increased in November, despite large losses in manufacturing and transportation.

However, the increase in employment was absorbed by the rise in the number of job-seekers.

And the general trend toward a weaker employment picture seen in previous months continued - the increase in jobs in November came entirely in part-time work as the number of full-time jobs fell by 43,000.

Analysts say full-time work tends to contribute more to the economy because part-time jobs usually yield lower pay and fewer benefits.

The report Friday adds to evidence the economy has slowed dramatically - many economists say Canada, like the United States, has already fallen into recession.

Jobs in stores and wholesale trade as well as professional and technical jobs jumped significantly in November, Statistics Canada said.

However, that was offset by large drops in manufacturing, which the agency attributed to a fall in the amount of work available in building computers and electronics.

The manufacturing sector has been one of the hardest hit in the slowdown, shedding 105,000 jobs or 4.5 per cent this year.

The rising unemployment rate and the underlying weakness it demonstrates makes it a good bet that the Bank of Canada will cut interest rates again at its next scheduled rate-setting session in late January.

The central bank has already reduced its trend-setting rate nine times this year in an effort to stimulate growth.

Among the provinces last month, Ontario saw its first increase in jobs, albeit part-time work, since last May.

But the rise in the number of people looking for work offset that, nudging the province's unemployment rate up 0.2 percentage points to 6.8 per cent.

Flat job creation in Quebec combined with rising numbers of job-seekers pushed its jobless rate up 0.4 percentage points to 8.9 per cent.

Similar forces pushed up unemployment in British Columbia to 8.5 per cent.

But Nova Scotia bucked the trend - fewer people looking for work there helped lower the jobless rate by 0.5 percentage point to 9.2 per cent.

Here's what happened in the provinces, with the October rate in brackets.

-Newfoundland 16.2 (15.9)

-Prince Edward Island 12.3 (12.4)

-Nova Scotia 9.2 (9.7)

-New Brunswick 11.4 (10.6)

-Quebec 8.9 (8.5)

-Ontario 6.8 (6.6)

-Manitoba 4.9 (4.9)

-Saskatchewan 6.0 (5.9)

-Alberta 4.6 (4.5)

-British Columbia 8.5 (8.2)

Statistics Canada also released seasonally adjusted, three-month moving average unemployment rates for major cities but cautioned the figures may fluctuate widely because they are based on small statistical samples. The previous three-month moving average is in brackets.

-St. John's, Nfld., 8.9 (9.5)

-Halifax, 7.0 (7.2)

-Saint John, N.B., 9.6 (9.7)

-Chicoutimi-Jonquiere, Que., 11.3 (11.3)

-Quebec, 7.7 (7.9)

-Trois-Rivieres, Que., 10.0 (9.5)

-Sherbrooke, Que., 8.5 (7.4)

-Montreal, 8.1 (7.9)

-Ottawa-Hull, 7.2 (7.5)

-Toronto, 6.6 (6.6)

-Hamilton, 5.8 (5.9)

-Kitchener, Ont., 6.6 (6.9)

-London, Ont., 6.4 (6.3)

-Oshawa, Ont., 6.0 (5.9)

-St. Catharines-Niagara, Ont., 5.3 (5.2)

-Sudbury, Ont., 8.9 (9.4)

-Thunder Bay, Ont., 8.0 (8.3)

-Windsor, Ont., 6.4 (6.7)

-Winnipeg, 5.3 (5.2)

-Regina, 5.0 (5.1)

-Saskatoon, 6.4 (5.9)

-Calgary, 4.3 (4.6)

-Edmonton, 4.9 (4.4)

-Vancouver, 7.3 (7.0)

-Victoria, 6.0 (6.1)


U.S. unemployment jumps December 7, 2001: 8:37 a.m. ET

Employers cut 331,000 jobs in November; jobless rate rises to 5.7%.

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The U.S. unemployment rate jumped to its highest level in six years in November as employers cut hundreds of thousands more jobs in response to the first recession in a decade in the world's largest economy.

The Labor Department said employers cut 331,000 jobs last month after a revised loss of 468,000 jobs in October. The unemployment rate rose to 5.7 percent from 5.4 percent. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast unemployment at 5.6 percent and job cuts of 201,000.

The combined October-November job cuts are the most since May-June of 1980. The unemployment rate is at its highest level since August 1995.

"The fact that unemployment is getting worse is not a surprise," said Anthony Chan, chief economist at Banc One Investment Advisors. "But the fact that it's deteriorating at this pace is a surprise."

November marked the second straight month of big job losses as the economy continued to stagger from the blow delivered by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The government said that since March, when the nation's first recession in a decade began, 1.2 million Americans have lost their jobs.

To keep consumers spending despite mounting unemployment, the Federal Reserve has cut interest rates 10 times this year and is expected to do so again after its policy makers meet Tuesday.

Stock futures sank after the news, pointing to a lower start on Wall Street. But Treasury bond prices rose, pushing yields lower, as investors bet additional Fed rate cuts now are more likely.

Despite the Fed's efforts, the U.S. economy sank into recession anyway, according to economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research, who said the downturn began in March.

A recession as commonly defined -- two straight quarters of shrinking gross domestic product (GDP) -- hasn't happened yet, but third-quarter GDP shrank at a 1.1 percent rate, and fourth-quarter GDP is expected to be worse.
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2001-12-7 -04:00
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