The Canadian economy took a drastic downturn in October, losing a total of 1,800 jobs according to Statistics Canada despite forecaster optimism. The unemployment rate also stagnated this month at 5.5%.

Job losses come after a two-month gain in September and August where the Canadian economy grew by 54,000 and 81,000 jobs respectively. 

Full-time employment felt the largest hit in October, with a loss of 16,100 jobs, while part-time work saw a boom of 14,300 jobs.

Accompanied by the employment downturn, the dollar also weakened, now valuing at 75.57 cents USD. 

Prior to the monthly report, economists were expecting the upward trend to continue and were predicting that Canada would add another 15,900 jobs to the economy this month.

Manufacturing and construction jobs were the hardest hit by the plummet, with a loss of 23,100 and 40,900 jobs respectively. 

“Employment declined in manufacturing and construction. At the same time, employment was up in public administration and in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing,” claimed the Statistics Canada report. 

The natural resource sector saw minimal growth since September, reporting a gain of less than one thousand jobs in October.  

In October, the oil and gas sector saw a number of large upheavals including the announcement that the energy giant Encana was set to move its operations to the U.S. for better market prospects. 

Husky Energy Inc. also laid off hundreds of workers in western Canada due to the pressures of the country’s ailing energy industry.

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