Canadian job growth was mainly in the part-time work for the past year, according to Statistics Canada. LM Otero/Associated Press
Canada's unemployment rate edged down to seven per cent in July, with just 200 new jobs created, according to Statistics Canada.
That's better than the 7.1 per cent recorded in June, but mainly reflects a decline in the number of people looking for work.
This was a heightened problem for people over age 55, who saw employment continue to fall.
However, there were brighter prospects for youth aged 15 to 24, with 17,000 new jobs going to that segment. That didn’t budge the 13.2 per cent unemployment rate for young workers.
Much of the work created in July was in education, or in information, culture and recreation, with construction and health-care jobs in decline.
On an annual basis, employment increased by 115,000 jobs, with most of the work part time and no increase in total hours worked compared with July 2013.
Saskatchewan saw its lowest unemployment rate since data was first recorded in 1976 – 3.3 per cent. There was an increase of 6,800 jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador, following three months of declines, but the unemployment rate there remains at 11.9 per cent.
There are 1.3 million unemployed Canadians, evidence of an economy that has run out of steam after churning out strong job gains in the first few years following the 2008-09 recession.
The Bank of Canada said last month it believes it will take about two years to eliminate the slack in the economy.
In the meantime, there are more discouraged workers, with the July participation rate falling to 65.9 per cent, the lowest since 2001.