By Kim Mackrael

OTTAWA--Canada unexpectedly added full-time jobs in December, while the unemployment rate ticked up as more people looked for work.

Canada gained a net 53,700 jobs in December, and the national unemployment rate increased to 6.9%, Statistics Canada said Friday. Expectations were for a loss of 2,500 jobs and for the jobless rate to edge up to 6.9%, according to economists at Royal Bank of Canada.

During the 12 months ending December 31, the Canadian economy added 214,100 jobs for a gain of 1.2%, marking the fastest December-to-December growth rate since 2012. Nearly all of the 2016 increase occurred during the last five months of the year, Statistics Canada said.

Write to Kim Mackrael at kim.mackrael@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 06, 2017 08:45 ET (13:45 GMT)

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