Canada’s labour force grew by 9,300  jobs in December while the unemployment rate held steady at a record low rate of 5.6 per cent last, Statistics Canada reported Friday. 

This was down from job growth in November which saw a massive 94,100 net jobs created. 

Overall in 2018, the economy produced 163,300 jobs in 2018 for an increase of 0.9 per cent. The was at a slower pace of job growth compared with 2.3 per cent in 2017 and 1.2 per cent in 2016, the agency said. 

In Ontario, employment grew by 78,000 in 2018, Statistics Canada said. The jobs were all full-time work. The unemployment rate in the province fell 0.2 percentage points to 5.4 per cent in December, the second lowest rate among the provinces. Gains were made in several industries, led by transportation and warehousing, and education.

Transportation and warehousing employment rose by 15,000 in the country continuing a trend that began in 2016. Most of the gains were in Ontario. 

In Ottawa, unemployment saw a slight jump from November to December from 4.6 per cent to 5.0 per cent. In Gatineau, the rate went from 4.6 to 4.8 per cent. The labour force in the capital grew by 1,600 people, the total number of jobs dropped by about 1,100. 

Employment growth in 2018 saw 126,000 jobs go to women in the core working age group (age 25-54). Men in the same cohort saw a boost of 61,000 jobs.

In 2018, jobs for 15-24 year olds fell 73,000 (a 2.9 per cent drop) after gains in 2017. Youth unemployment increased by 0.6 percentage points to 11.1 per cent.