Canada says joblessness rose slightly in June to 6%

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"Six percent is a low unemployment rate and 3.5 percent is decent wage growth".

According to June numbers from Statistics Canada, the jobless rate is 6.7 per cent, up from May's 6.5 and April's 5.9.

The Canadian dollar strengthened to a three-week high against its US counterpart on Friday as oil prices rose and data showing a stronger-than-expected rise in domestic jobs raised expectations for a Bank of Canada interest rate hike next week.

Compared with a year earlier, total employment increased by 1.2% 214 after the creation of 90 jobs. The rise comes despite the fact the country gained 31,800 jobs, which were mostly part-time positions.

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The local jobless rate rose by a half-per cent last month, but is still lower than it was a year ago.

Ahead of the release Friday, expectations had already strengthened that governor Stephen Poloz will raise the benchmark at the meeting for the first time since January. The Bank of Canada says uncertainty over trade tensions between Canada and the United States is one of the biggest potential threats to the economy. The public sector has increased its membership by 11 800 jobs, while the private sector lost 2,000 employees.

"After an impressive performance in 2017, the Canadian labour market definitely took a breather in the first half of 2018", Arseneau wrote in a research note to clients.

"The big question for us remains will we get any escalation in the trade war between the USA and China over the weekend and early next week that could blow things apart", said Paul-Andre Pinsonnault, senior fixed income economist at National Bank Financial.

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