Canada's economy is roaring back to life with employers on a hiring spree in the past month.
Four times as many jobs as expected were created last month, with employment up by 93,200 workers and the jobless rate dropping to 7.9 percent, the lowest since January 2009.
TD Bank economist Derek Burleton called it "another blockbuster gain," saying he is "flabbergasted" by the figures reflecting the strength of the domestic economy.
Statistics Canada said Ontario and Quebec accounted for nearly all the gains with 90,000 jobs created. Other provinces were stable except for some job losses in Newfoundland/Labrador and New Brunswick.
The job strength means that Canada has recovered almost all of the jobs lost during the recession and the labor force has expanded.
Canada's economy has added 403,000 jobs since mid 2009, with a jump of 246,200 jobs in the past four months alone.
Big increases in hiring were noted in service industries, retail, business, health care and automotive repair.
Do-Not-Call list doesn't deter telemarketers
The national Do-Not-Call list aimed at avoiding pesky telemarketers hasn't had its desired impact in Canada.
People wanting to stop companies from calling them have been able to register their phone numbers on a government-run list since 2008.
Liberal Sen. Percy Downe said there's a lack of enforcement, as some 300,000 people have complained about still getting calls.
Records show 22 companies have been fined for ignoring the list, but only four have paid their fines that amount to $3,000.
News in brief
• University of Waterloo president David Johnston, 69, a law professor, has been named governor-general, Canada's representative for Queen Elizabeth II. In making the announcement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Johnston "represents the best of Canada … hard work, dedication, public service and humility." He will succeed Michaelle Jean in the post on Oct. 1.
• They've been having a heat wave across southern Ontario, Quebec and east into New Brunswick with temperatures in the high 80s and the 90s for several days. The hot, humid and hazy weather eased with rain and cooler temperatures Friday. Cities issued extreme heat alerts and opened up air-conditioned buildings and extended swimming pool hours for those who needed to cool down.
• CTV's Lloyd Robertson, who ends his evening newscasts with "So that's the kind of day it's been," will retire next year. The chief national news anchor with the network for 35 years said he will be 77 upon retirement and it's time to slow down a little. He will continue with occasional reporting as well as co-hosting the CTV current affairs series W5.
Facts and figures
Strong employment numbers pushed Canada's dollar higher Friday, reaching 96.81 cents U.S. after slumping below 95 cents. The U.S. greenback is worth $1.0329 Canadian, before bank exchange fees.
The fast pace of economic recovery could cause the Bank of Canada to raise its trendsetting interest rate for the second month on July 20. The key interest rate is 0.5 percent, while the prime lending rate is 2.5 percent.
Stock markets are lower, with the Toronto exchange index at 11,492 points and the TSX Venture Exchange at 1,367 points.
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• Western Canadian farmers whose crops were wiped out by floods in May and June will be getting financial compensation from the government. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said Canada and the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba will provide up to $450 million in disaster relief to restore the damaged farm fields.
• It took a year on the picket line but about 3,000 workers at Brazil-based mining company Vale in Ontario have approved a new agreement. The strike involved steelworkers in Sudbury and Port Colborne at the former Inco plants. Vale was attempting to cut labor costs to remain competitive at the Canadian operations that account for more than 10 percent of the world's nickel mine supply.
• Trying to make a quick exit while on a WestJet plane over the Canadian Prairies led to the arrest of a Newfoundland woman. Police said the woman panicked and tried to open the door hatch. She was restrained by crew and other passengers, and the plane made an emergency landing in Winnipeg. Barbara Morton, 47, of St. John's was arrested for mischief, assault and endangering the safety of an aircraft.
Jim Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.