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Canada 34,500 jobs added in October 2009

Non-farm payroll employment increased by a moderate 34,500 in October, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday.

The trend in payroll employment has been flat since June, the agency
said, suggesting a shift from the job cuts that marked the first eight
months of the recession.

In October, only 44.3 per cent of all industries tracked by the
agency's Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours added jobs. But gains
in education, health care, social assistance and construction were
large enough to offset declines elsewhere.

October's increase was mainly the result of an additional 20,000 jobs in educational services and 14,600 in health care and social assistance, as well as smaller gains in construction and banking.

The increases in education and health care and social assistance employment are part of a longer trend, as both sectors have recorded payroll employment gains throughout the economic downturn. Construction-related payroll jobs have only been trending up since June.

Since that time payroll employment has edged up by an average of about 4,200 jobs a month nationally, a big shift from the average monthly loss of 51,200 jobs recorded in the eight months that followed October 2008.

Average weekly earnings, including overtime, of payroll employees was $831.17 in October, up 1.6 per cent from October 2008.

In the months before the labour market contraction began, the year-over-year increase in average weekly earnings was about three per cent, the agency said.

Weekly earnings rose in all provinces between October 2008 and October 2009.

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