Montreal unemployment rate drops to lowest level since December

Candace Elliott

The national unemployment rate increased to six per cent from last month's value of 5.8.

Thomas jobless rate in June.

The Canadian dollar strengthened to a three-week high against its USA counterpart on Friday as oil prices rose and data showing a stronger-than-expected rise in domestic jobs raised expectations for a Bank of Canada interest rate hike next week.

"Compared with June 2017, employment increased by 215,000 or 1.2 per cent, with all the growth in full-time work".

Consumer prices have edged past the midpoint of the Bank of Canada's 1 percent to 3 percent inflation target range, and even wage inflation, which had been slow to pick up after a 2015 slump, has begun to strengthen amid job gains.

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But among all those aged 15 to 24, an increase of 27,000 job-seekers pushed the unemployment rate up 0.6 percentage points from May, to 11.7 per cent. Many experts expect that Stephen Poloz, Governor of the Bank first raised the rate from January. The country has its own trade feud with the United States and is also in slow-moving talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement.

By sector, the numbers showed goods-producing industries added 46,600 positions in June thanks to job-creation boosts in construction, natural resources and manufacturing. The labour force in Northeast B.C. also increased last month, from 41,800 to 42,700.

Despite potential economic hurdles and global tensions, the bank says, "We continue to look for a policy interest rate hike on July 11th". The global trade deficit was about $1.9 billion in April and $3.9 billion in March.

Exports declined mostly because of weaker trade on motor vehicles and parts as well as metal ores and non-metallic minerals.

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