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Nearly 40,000 new jobs were created in Canada in August — twice as many as expected, but not enough to keep pace with record population growth, the government statistical agency said Friday.

That resulted in the unemployment rate holding steady at 5.5 per cent following three consecutive monthly increases.

"Employment is still rising, but so is the unemployment rate with job demand no longer strong enough to keep up with a rising supply of workers from surging population growth," RBC economics assistant chief economist Nathan Janzen summed up.

Despite the uptick in job numbers, he said the steady unemployment rate was "still likely consistent" with the central bank's assessment this week that the labour market was coming into balance.

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