Thousands of Canadians lose jobs, markets slip

January 10th, 2009 - 1:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Jan 10 (IANS) There is more gloomy news in Canada, with the latest data showing that 34,000 more full-time jobs disappeared last month.The Canadian market and dollar slipped lower Friday on the dismal monthly data. This is the second successive month when huge job losses have been reported. More than 71,000 jobs were lost in November.

With the latest job losses, the unemployment rate in Canada has risen to 6.6 percent, up from 6.3 percent in November.

Economists had expected the extra job losses to be in the region of 20,000 for the last month of the year as stimulus measures by the government failed to ease credit crunch.

Employment decline was driven by a drop in construction, one of the largest monthly losses for that industry in over three decades, said Statistics Canada releasing the data Friday.

The US economic crisis has taken its toll on the Canadian economy, with all the major sectors - the oil and commodities, the auto industry, and timber and manufacturing - reeling under the worst-ever crisis.

The Bank of Canada, the country’s central bank, has cut overnight lending rates to the lowest level of 1.5 percent and pumped in billions of dollars into the system to spur lending by the banks. But the credit crisis continues to deepen, with the banks unwilling to take risks with depositors’ money.

No one knows how the $4-billion package announced by the government for the three auto giants will revive the sector, with December reporting further slump in sales.

The dismal joblessness figures pulled down Canadian markets and the currency.

The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) composite index slipped 131.2 points to close at 9,090.4. The Canadian dollar or loonie also lost ground against the US dollar, diving 0.96 cent to 83.89 cents US.

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