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Canadian employment regained its pre-pandemic level in September with a gain of 157,100, more than double market forecasts, bolstering the case for the central bank to scale back bond purchases later this month. Higher-paying full time jobs rose 193,600 on the month while part-time fell 36,500, an overall gain that helped pull down the unemployment rate to 6.9% from 7.1%, Statistics Canada said Friday. The re-opening of the economy also helped draw about 139,000 people back into the labor market.

While the labor force participation rate of 65.5% in September also returned to its pre-pandemic level, the employment rate of 60.9% was 0.9pp lower than in February 2020. Statistics Canada also estimates that without the pandemic, population growth and other demographic changes means employment could have been higher by between 110,000 and 270,000 positions.

Economists predicted a 65,000 job gain and unemployment at 6.9%. The job report will likely influence Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland decision on whether to extend household releif checks due to expire later this month.

Source: Statistics Canada