Canadian Unemployment At 11-Year High

TORONTO (AP) -- Canada's unemployment rate rose to 8.4 percent in May, the highest level in 11 years and up from the eight percent registered in April.

Statistics Canada announced Friday the country lost 42,000 jobs in May. Since the recession began last October, 363,000 workers have lost their jobs, with 234,000 of those coming in Ontario, Canada's most populous province and the country's manufacturing heartland.

The U.S. labor market is about 10 times the size of Canada's so the U.S.-equivalent of 42,000 jobs lost based on labor market size would be 420,000.

Most of the job losses have occurred in manufacturing in Ontario, which has been hard hit by the auto crisis. General Motors Corp., Chrysler LLC and Ford Motor Co. all have large operations in Ontario.

The number of factory jobs in Ontario dropped to 778,000, the lowest level since comparable data became available in 1976. Manufacturing employment in Ontario reached a peak in 2002 with 1,115,000 workers.

The recent rapid rise of the Canadian dollar is expected to further hurt exports and the manufacturing sector. Canada's central bank said Thursday the 20 percent surge in the value of the dollar since its March level threatens the country's economic recovery.

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