The Canadian job market tumbled in October according to the latest Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, with the province of Ontario being hit the hardest.

While experts had predicted slight losses in employment, the October job numbers are even worse than expected. This represents the largest single month job loss since March of 2009.

Following surprising employment growth in September, Canada’s overall unemployment rate climbed to 7.3 per cent last month as the economy lost 54,000 full-time jobs. Experts are warning that job losses of this magnitude represent a slowing economy and signs of trouble ahead.

Most of these job losses were in the manufacturing and construction industries. The natural resources sector was the only industry to see significant gains in new jobs created in October.

While Ontario was the hardest hit by job losses, bringing its current unemployment rate to 8.1%, employment also fell in British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Newfoundland and Labrador stood out as the province with the most notable job gains, seeing over 4,000 new jobs created.

Overall employment in Quebec was down slightly leaving the unemployment rate at 7.7 percent, little changed from this time a year ago.

On the bright side, over the last year, total employment in Canada has risen by 237,000 jobs or up 1.4 per cent overall.