Canada unexpectedly created 27,000 new jobs in August led by the private sector, but its unemployment rate edged up as more people joined the labor force, a government agency said on Friday.
Analysts had forecast a loss of 15,000 jobs in August after a loss of 44,500 jobs the previous month. August unemployment rose 0.1 percentage points to 8.7 per cent, said Statistics Canada.
Since an employment peak in October 2008, Canada has shed a total of 387,000 jobs as the economy sank into recession. "The trend in employment, however, has changed recently," it said.
Losses have progressively lessened over the last five months. Some 31,000 new part-time jobs were created in August -- the first increase in this group since September 2008.
Numbers of public sector employees and self-employed edged down, but was offset by the creation of 49,000 private sector jobs. Mostly women were hired.
The largest gains were in Canada's retail and whole sectors, finance, insurance, real estate and leasing. Work in the construction sector also rose slightly.
Employment in the manufacturing sector, however, continued to decline.
By region, only the prairie Saskatchewan province in western Canada -- the nation's farm heartland -- did not see a rise in employment last month. All nine other provinces saw gains.
Average hourly wages were up 3.3 per cent compared with August 2008, but his marked the lowest year-over-year growth in more than two years.