09/06/2013 09:29 EDT | Updated 11/06/2013 05:12 EST

Canada's job growth in August more than expected

The number of jobs created in August rose by 59,000, almost three times more than expected by analysts, with part-time work and employees age 55 and over leading the gain, Statistics Canada says.

More jobs were created in August than analysts expected, with employment increasing by 59,000 jobs, 39,000 more than the 20,000 forecast, but most of that gain was in part-time work, Statistics Canada reported Friday in its Labour Force Survey.

The unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 7.1 per cent.

Before August, the monthly average was 12,000 jobs gained per month in the previous six months.

Employment has increased 1.4 per cent since August 2012, the equivalent of 246,000 jobs.

"Employment gains were concentrated among people aged 55 and over, while there was little change among youths and people aged 25 to 54," Statistics Canada said of the August 2013 numbers.

Most of the gains were among women, the agency said.

Health, social assistance see biggest boost

Health care and social assistance were the sectors that saw the biggest increase in employment in August, gaining 60,000 jobs.

"Employment in this industry has been on a long-term upward trend and has increased by 2.5 per cent since August 2012," Statistics Canada said.

Information, culture and recreation, which had seen employment decline in the previous two months, saw gains in August that brought the level of employment close to its level 12 months earlier.

Alberta and Ontario had the biggest job gains, while Manitoba saw employment decline.

Ontario gained 44,000 mostly part-time jobs in August, 2.2 per cent more than in August 2012. The unemployment rate in the province was 7.5 per cent.

Employment in Alberta continued to increase for the fifth month in a row, with a gain of 15,000 jobs and year-on-year growth of 3.8 per cent. The unemployment rate in that province was 4.8 per cent in August.

The dollar rose to above 96 cents US on the better-than-expected jobs numbers in pre-market trading from a close of 95.18.