A key driver of voting intentions in upcoming legislative elections, employment in Canada has seen little change in the past four months, the government statistical agency said Friday.
About 12,000 new jobs were created from August to September, bringing the total number of Canadians employed last month to nearly 18 million.
Canada's unemployment rate, however, increased by 0.1 percentage points to 7.1 percent in September as more Canadians joined the labor market.
Analysts had expected the rate to remain flat, and a small uptick in new jobs.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives, who have made the economy and job creation their main plank, are neck and neck with the Liberals and New Democrats ahead of the October 19 election, polling shows.
According to Statistics Canada, part-time employment rose by 74,000 in September, which was largely offset by a decline of 62,000 in full time jobs.
Employment increased among people aged 55 and older, the agency said.
Net new jobs were created in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island, while employment fell in Ontario as well as Newfoundland.
There were more people employed in information, culture and recreation, "other services," health care and social assistance, as well as business, building and other support services.
At the same time, employment in educational services declined.
Meanwhile, the number of self-employed workers increased, as public sector employment declined.