Canada's unemployment rate nudged down to a near four-decade low last month, seemingly shrugging off global signs of an economic slowdown, but with economists warning that the numbers weren't entirely rosy.
New Brunswick's unemployment declined in September, but the province also lost 1,500 jobs in the same month, according to Statistics Canada's monthly labour force survey.
Year-over-year, the unemployment rate is up from September 2018, when it sat at 5.6%.
The economy added 53,700 jobs last month, Statistics Canada said, following a gain of 81,100 in August.
But a year ago there were more people working in a larger labour force, with 40,100 people employed in a pool of 42,500. This is also the second consecutive month of increases after the region added 4,100 new jobs in August, which broke a streak of six months of job losses.
The agency said the country saw a rush last month of 49,400 new positions in services industries, but a drop of 21,000 jobs in the private sector - even though year-over-year private sector jobs is actually up. More health-care sector and education workers drove overall job gains.
"Unemployment is low, wages are starting to pick up".
"It's still an encouraging thing that unemployment is falling, and certainly it suggests we're not on the cusp of a serious downturn in the economy", Brown said.
CIBC's Mr. Pollick noted that numerous sectors with the biggest job gains have also had the lowest capital spending relative to their historical norms - including the professional, scientific and technical services segment, which alone accounts for one-quarter of the job growth in the past year.
"Job growth has been chugging along at quite a pace, but it's not really reflected in the other economic data", said Doug Porter, chief economist at Bank of Montreal.
"Jobs have been running too hot relative to growth trends - it is likely the replacement of capital for labour is occurring", Ian Pollick, head of North American rates strategy at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, said in a research note Friday.
With days before voting day, the federal Liberals pounced on the high-level numbers to push their re-election bid.
Most of the 54,000 jobs created in the country came from Ontario, where employment rose by 41,000 in September, most of it in full-time jobs.