Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Employment Bursts out in May; 95,000 Job Gain near Biggest Ever

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Employment Bursts out in May; 95,000 Job Gain near Biggest Ever

Article excerpt

Canada has historic job creation month

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OTTAWA - Canada's economy pumped out a stunning 95,000 in May -- one of the biggest monthly gains in history -- as employers resumed hiring again after a four-month winter hibernation.

Historically, it was the second-biggest job creation month in 35 years -- just 100 lower than August 2002.

The number was so shocking that economists, and even Prime Minister Stephen Harper, cautioned that the Statistics Canada monthly reports are subject to wide margins of error.

"We don't obviously want to pay too much attention to what happens month to month, because we know this is very volatile, but the Canadian economy is now up to about a million net new jobs created since the recession," he said at a photo event in Ottawa.

"We obviously know that's one of the best records in the developed world."

Taken as reported, the massive gain was the first major improvement of 2013 and many times greater than economists had expected, dropping the unemployment rate one-tenth of a point to 7.1 per cent.

There was also little to quibble about in the underlying details of the Statistics Canada report.

All the new jobs came in the private sector and in the employee class -- rather than the less desirable self-employment category -- and 76,700 of them were full-time.

Even young people had an easier time finding employment in May, with about 54,000 of the new workers in the 15 to 24 age group joining the labour force. That drove down the youth unemployment rate to 13.6 per cent, almost a full point lower than the previous month.

"There's no question this report is absolutely spectacular," said Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter. "Even some of the details were incredible ... so it doesn't look like it was a complete outlier.

"But I would add a couple of notes of caution. I would sincerely doubt we are going to see anything close to this repeated in the months ahead, and the other thing, it did follow a real period of weakness."

Canada's labour market had been seen as struggling in 2013, with the first four months producing a net loss of 13,000 jobs, attributed to the poor economy during the second half of last year. …

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