Greater Sudbury's jobless rate inched upwards in July to 7.1 per cent, thanks in part to an increase in the size of the labour force.
That's an increase of 0.1 per cent compared to the month before, but the number of people with jobs was the same – 81,100. However, the city's labour force grew to 87,300 from 87,200, pushing up the rate slightly.
The city's anemic jobs market reflects the national trend, where 200 jobs were added last month, falling well short of expectations. Economists had expected the economy to bounce back from the unexpected 9,400 decline in June by adding around 20,000 new jobs.
Canada's unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a point to 7.0 per cent for the month, but that's only because 35,400 people stopped looking for work. The participation rate, which tracks how many people are actively searching for jobs, declined to 65.9 per cent from 66.1 per cent in June. That's the lowest it's been since late 2001, BMO senior economist Benjamin Reitzes noted in a report.
Over the past 12 months, the economy has added 115,300 new jobs — or 0.7 per cent of the labour force — with all the growth in part-time work. Between June and July, the number of full-time jobs fell by 59,700 while part-time jobs increased by 60,000.
"Canada is rapidly becoming a nation of part-timers," said Paul Ashworth, chief North American economist at Capital Economics in Toronto.
"Over the past 12 months, full-time employment has actually declined by a cumulative 3,100, while part-time employment has increased by 118,500."
Most of the month's job losses came in construction, health care and social assistance. However, employment in educational services and in information, culture and recreation rose in July.
The majority of new jobs were concentrated among people between the ages of 15 and 24, Statistics Canada says, while there were losses among people aged 55 and older.
Regionally, Newfoundland and Labrador and Manitoba were the only provinces to show job growth, while employment fell in New Brunswick. The rest of the provinces remained mostly unchanged, including Ontario, where the rate held steady at 7.4 per cent.
In July, there were more people employed in educational services and in information, culture and recreation. At the same time, employment declined in construction as well as health care and social assistance.
Adjusted to the way the U.S. estimates its jobless rate, the unemployment in Canada was 6.0 per cent in July, compared with 6.2 per cent in the United States.
In the 12 months to July, the unemployment rate in Canada was down 0.3 percentage points, while the rate in the United States fell 1.1 percentage points.
– With files from Canadian Press.