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Canadian Unemployment Rate Slips

Statistics Canada said unemployment rate has dropped to 8.2 percent as the economy gained 21,000 jobs.

TORONTO (AP) -- Canada's unemployment rate has slipped to 8.2 percent as the economy gained 21,000 jobs.

Statistics Canada said Friday full-time jobs rose by 60,000 in February. That was partially offset by a loss of 39,000 part-time positions. Economists had been expecting a gain of 15,000.

The unemployment rate dropped from 8.3 percent in January.

The agency says 46,000 of the jobs created in February came in the government, public service sector, although the private sector also posted gains.

The Canadian dollar jumped 0.81 of a cent to 98.44 U.S. cents following the report, its highest level since July 2008.

The report raises speculation Canada's central bank will raise interest rates sooner than later.

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