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Canadian employment rose for the second consecutive month, up 43,000 in October, pushing the unemployment rate down to 0.3 percentage points to 6.5 per cent, the lowest rate since November 2008, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada.

 Employment has seen a steady increase in 2014. In the last 12 months to October, employment rose 182,000 (+1.0 per cent) with the growth in September and October of this year accounting for two thirds of this increase.

"Market expectations had been for a decline of 5,000 jobs in October," says Dawn Desjardin, assistent chief economist for RBC Economics, commenting on the employment data. "The sizeable jump in employment handily outpace the 4,200 rise in the labour force and sent the October unemployment rate to 6.5%, which was lower than the third quarter's average of 6.9%. Today's data served to boost the average year-to-date monthly increase to 20,000, thereby besting the above-trend 17,500 pace in the nine months to September.

Employment grew in manufacturing, as well as in retail and wholesales trade, finance, insurance, real estate, leasing and educational services. The number of private sector employees and self-employed workers increased in October, while the number of public sector employees fell. Specifically in manufacturing, the number of workers in October rose by 33,000. This month's gain brought manufacturing employment up slightly compared with a year earlier.

More women aged 25 to 54 employed in October

In October, employment increased by 44,000 among people aged 25 to 54, with women accounting for 36,000 of this gain. However, the unemployment rate for women in this age group remained at 5.1 per cent as more of them participated in the labour market. Among men aged 25 to 54, the unemployment rate was 5.8 per cent. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment for people aged 25 to 54 rose by 51,000, with all of the increase among men, notes Statistics Canada.

Employment was little changed among youths aged 15 to 24 in October. However, their unemployment rate declined 0.9 percentage points to 12.6 per cent as fewer youths searched for work. This was a result of more youths reporting that they did not want work, were unavailable for work, or wanted work but did not look for work because they were attending school. On a year-over-year basis, youth employment was up 39,000 (+1.6 per cent).

In October, employment among people aged 55 and older was little changed and their unemployment rate was 5.6%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment for this group increased by 91,000 (+2.7 per cent), all the result of growth in the population of those aged 55 and older.

Statistics Canada

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