September turned out to be a strong month for job growth in Canada. After remaining largely stagnant through the summer months, Canadian employment grew by 61,000 full time jobs in September. This caused the national unemployment rate to fall by 0.2 percent to 7.1%, which is the lowest it has been since the early days of the recession in December 2008.

Since last September, employment has grown by 1.7% or 294,000 new jobs, largely in the provinces of Ontario and Alberta. Over this period, full-time employment has risen by 2.5% or an increase of 344,000 jobs, but this was offset by losses of 50,000 part-time jobs.

September saw job increases in numerous industries, with growth in educational services; professional, scientific and technical services; accommodation and food services; natural resources; and public administration. Not all sectors fared as well, however. Job losses were seen in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing; manufacturing; and information, culture and recreation.

British Columbia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island were the big winners for job growth last month. There was little change in the employment numbers for Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.

Earlier predictions had been for an increase in roughly 15,000 jobs for September, making this growth of four times that a surprising good news story for Canadian workers.