The unemployment rate in Canada held study at 8.55 in December, according to Statistics Canada. This is a positive sign, since the unemployment rate rose sharply in November 2009. On the other hand, the Christmas-related expected increase in shopping had little effect in bringing the unemployment down in December.
Statistics Canada reported:
In December, there were a number of offsetting changes by industry. Employment rose in health care and social assistance, as well as in professional, scientific and technical services. The largest declines were in transportation and warehousing; business, building and other support services; and public administration.
In recent months, a number of industries have contributed to the stabilization in employment. A notable shift has occurred in construction, which had been on a downward trend and is up 30,000 since March.
There was a decrease in public sector employment in December, while the number of self-employed workers was up and the number of private sector employees was unchanged. Since the employment peak of October 2008, the number of self-employed increased. However, the number of people working as employees fell, especially in the private sector, where signs of stabilization have only emerged recently.
In December, employment increased in Alberta, while it declined in Manitoba and New Brunswick. In recent months, employment in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia has been on a slight upward trend.