TORONTO (CP) - Ontario added 27,000 new manufacturing jobs in July to signal the first significant increase in that sector in more than a year.
The province had lost about 19,000 manufacturing jobs in June and about 50,000 in the sector since the beginning of 2007.
However, the gain was not enough to lower the Ontario unemployment rate in July. It rose to 6.6 percent from 6.5 percent in June. The national rate fell slightly to 6 percent from 6.1 percent.
On Tuesday, Premier Dalton McGuinty pressed the federal government to inject more than $1 billion into the province's manufacturing sector.
McGuinty said while the sector churns out billions for Canada's economy, Ottawa is short-changing the province by failing to intervene as gas prices, interest rates and the Canadian dollar rise ''out of control.'' He said those factors put a major strain on Ontario's manufacturers.
On Thursday, New Democrat Leader Howard Hampton said Ontario could energize its manufacturing sector by cutting industrial hydro rates by at least 15 percent and reining in salaries and profits at the province's power agencies.