OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada added 21,600 jobs in November, the third consecutive month of modest gains, and the unemployment rate stayed at a nearly five-year low of 6.9 percent, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

The increase was greater than the 12,000 new jobs predicted by market analysts.

In November, Canada added 1,400 full-time and 20,000 part-time jobs. Virtually all the new positions were in the self-employed category.

The average monthly job growth over the last six months, seen as a more reliable gauge of the trend in the job market, was 11,000, compared with 23,300 in the previous six-month period. The reason for the sharp drop is that May's 95,000 new jobs was not part of the six-month average.

Employment in the struggling manufacturing sector grew by 24,900 jobs in November. Employment in business, building and other support services advanced by 31,200.

Since November 2012, the economy has added 179,100 jobs, an increase of 1.0 percent.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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