10/11/2013 09:38 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Unemployment rate drops slightly to 6.9% in September

Canada's unemployment rate declined 0.2 percentage points in September to 6.9 per cent, while employment rose 1.2 per cent over a year ago, Statistics Canada says in its most recent labour force survey.

The country gained 11,900 jobs last month, slightly more than the 10,000 that analysts were expecting.

Year-on-year, there was a gain of 212,000 jobs, but that rise was offset by a comparable increase in the working-age population, meaning the employment rate was little changed.

"In September, employment was up in New Brunswick and down in Saskatchewan while there was little change in the other provinces," Statistics Canada said.

The job gains in September were in the private sector and were concentrated primarily in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing as well as natural resources and agriculture while manufacturing and public administration saw employment go down.

The public administration sector lost 17,000 jobs in September. The industry has been losing jobs since February and has seen employment decline by 7.2 per cent over that period.

Manufacturing employment dropped 4.1 per cent year-on-year, while the natural resource sector saw a 4.7 per cent increase in employment in that same period.

There were more private-sector employees in September but fewer self-employed.

Saskatchewan has seen the biggest year-on-year increase in jobs after Alberta. Employment in the province rose 3.1 per cent over a year ago and its unemployment rate was a mere 4.3 per cent, the same as Alberta's.

There were fewer young people (between ages 15 and 24) looking for work in September, which brought the unemployment rate in that demographic down to 12.9 per cent, a decline of 1.2 percentage points over August.

In Ontario, the effect of the youth population withdrawing from the job market as school resumed in September pushed the unemployment rate down 0.2 percentage points to 7.3 per cent. 

"Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province grew by 1.7 per cent, above the national average of 1.2 per cent," Statistics Canada said.