Canada added a better-than-expected 22,800 jobs in December, the government said Friday, while the unemployment rate remained at 7.1 percent.
Economists had expected a gain of only 10,000 jobs. The economy shed 35,700 positions in November, marking the end of a temporary hiring surge around the October election.
Statistics Canada said that the economy created 29,200 part-time jobs and lost 6,400 full-time positions in December.
The hard-hit manufacturing and natural resources sectors reported modest gains of 6,100 and 3,800 jobs respectively.