Western Alberta unemployment rate unchanged in October

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US unemployment rate falls to 4.1 per cent, lowest in 17 years

"The much-anticipated rebound in October nonfarm payrolls was less than market expectations, and even with the 90,000 upward revisions in the hurricane-affected months, the average monthly job gain for the last three months came in at 162,000 - a slowdown from the year-to-date monthly average gain through July of 171,000". Information, culture and recreation industries added 15,300 jobs.

The falling jobless rate is likely to sharpen the debate among Federal Reserve policymakers, who appear set to raise the benchmark interest rate next month despite stubbornly low inflation. Markets had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged.

The unemployment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage point to 4.1% in October, and the number of unemployed decreased by 281,000 to 6.5 million, the BLS report said.

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Full-time employment in October increased by a robust 88,700 positions, following a 112,000-gain in the previous month - or the strongest two-month gain in this category in over four decades.

The Canadian employment report "points to continued gradual tightening in the labor market and supports our call for a more hawkish stance by the Bank of Canada and another [rate] hike in January", said strategists at TD Securities in a note to clients.

The unemployment rate in the Montreal region rose slightly in October, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

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But at 4.1 per cent the unemployment rate is now at lows unseen since December 2000.

Additionally, flat average hourly earnings brought annual wage growth to 2.4 percent, a four-tenths payback from the solid gain of the prior month, when the hurricanes prevented many low-wage employees from working.

Regionally, Quebec posted the largest increase with a gain of 18,400 jobs, while Alberta added 11,900.

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