Statistics Canada says the country’s labour market gained 419,000 jobs last month as more parts of the economy were allowed to reopen.
The agency says the national unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June.
The figures beat market expectations, with the average economist estimate from financial markets data firm Refinitiv was for a gain of 400,000 jobs in July and an unemployment rate of 11 per cent.
Combined with the 953,000 jobs gained in June and the 290,000 in May, the country was within 1.3 million jobs from pre-pandemic levels.
About 266,0000 more people were looking for work in July, rising for the third consecutive month, but still down almost 300,000 from where it was in February.
The agency says the unemployment rate would have been 13.8 per cent in July if it had included in calculations those who wanted to work but didn’t look for a job.