Canada's unemployment rate jumped 0.3 percentage points to 7.2% in December, wiping out most of the job gains of the past year, government statistics showed today.

Dampened by last month's loss of 46,000 jobs, employment gains for 2013 amounted to a mere 102,000 - up 0.6% from 2012.

Monthly job growth averaged less than a third of the 26,000 jobs created monthly in 2012, Statistics Canada said.

Last month marked the slowest December-to-December growth rate since 2009, the agency said.

Fewer people were employed in December in Canada's education, agriculture, and natural resources sectors, as well as in "other services" such as personal care and civic and social organisations.

The healthcare and social assistance sector was the only segment to post employment gains in the month. Self employment also fell.

Notably, fewer men and women aged 25 to 54 were employed in December, while employment also rose among women aged 55 and over.