(Adds details, market reaction, background, byline)
By Leah Schnurr
OTTAWA Oct 7 Canada added far more jobs than
expected in September, mainly because of the biggest increase in
self-employed workers in more than seven years, data from
Statistics Canada showed on Friday.
Economists did not expect the report, which has been
volatile month-to-month, to move the Bank of Canada off the
sidelines when it meets later this month. A senior policymaker
said on Thursday there was still more slack in the labor market
than the unemployment rate would suggest.
After cutting interest rates twice last year to offset the
effects of plunging oil prices, the central bank is largely seen
holding them where they are at least through next year.
The economy created 67,200 new jobs last month, handily
topping the increase of 10,000 that analysts had forecast. The
unemployment rate held at 7.0 percent, as expected, as slightly
more people were looking for work.
But 50,100 of those jobs went to Canadians who consider
themselves to be self-employed, the biggest monthly increase
since June 2009.
"Behind Canada's great headline increase in employment, the
details for September were still soft," said William Adams,
senior international economist at PNC Financial Services Group.
Still, Adams said, given September's employment growth,
recent economic improvement and the gain in oil prices, the Bank
of Canada is likely to hold rates through the end of 2017.
The Canadian dollar strengthened against the greenback
following the report. Traders were also absorbing the U.S. jobs
report, which showed employment growth there unexpectedly slowed
for the third straight month.
Much of Canada's increase in self-employed positions was in
the health care and social assistance sector, according to the
statistics agency. But that was offset by a decrease in public
sector jobs within the industry, leaving it down a net 14,300
Overall, the service sector led the way in job gains, with
public administration adding 18,900 workers, while educational
services jobs increased by 16,700.
The goods-producing segment of the economy fared well, with
construction adding 6,400 jobs and manufacturing, 6,300.
For the third quarter, job gains were up just 0.3 percent,
following little change in employment in the second quarter and
a 0.2 percent improvement in the first.
(Additional reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto; Editing by
Chizu Nomiyama and Lisa Von Ahn)