Canada loses 31,200 net jobs in July

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OTTAWA – The Canadian labour market lost 31,200 net jobs last month as the country experienced the biggest monthly drop in full-time work in nearly five years.

Statistics Canada’s latest labour force survey says the market shed 71,400 full-time positions in July — a number partly offset by an increase of 40,200 in less-desirable, part-time jobs.

The agency says full-time work in Canada hasn’t suffered a one-month blow this big since October 2011.

The report says the national unemployment rate in July crept up to 6.9 per cent from 6.8 per cent the previous month.

The survey also says paid employee positions fell by 28,400 last month, compared to a decline of 2,700 in self-employed work.

A consensus of economists had predicted the country would add 10,000 jobs and the unemployment rate would move up to 6.9 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters.

Statistics Canada also released fresh figures that showed the country’s merchandise trade deficit with the world grew to a record $3.6 billion in June.

The numbers show that Canadian exports dropped 4.7 per cent in the second quarter to $124 billion — their largest drop since the second quarter of 2009 during the Great Recession.

As a result, Canada’s quarterly trade deficit expanded to a record $10.7 billion in the second quarter, up from $6.4 billion in the first quarter.