The unemployment rate edge higher last month. Despite the creation of 17,500 jobs. Stats Canada says the jobless rate increased because there were more people actively looking for work. Economist with the Canadian Labour Congress Andrew Jackson says the last three months of 2011 saw the unemployment rate climb from 7.1 percent to 7.5. He believes spending cuts by all levels of government are affecting household spending and employment. Stats can says for the year, Canada added 199,000 jobs, almost all in the first six months of 2011. The unemployment rate also climbed in Toronto last month to 8.6 percent and up to 7.3 percent in Oshawa.