Canada's Labour Market Surprises with Record-Breaking Employment Gain

By Blatchford, Andy | The Canadian Press, May 10, 2019 | Go to article overview

Canada's Labour Market Surprises with Record-Breaking Employment Gain


Blatchford, Andy, The Canadian Press


Canada posts record one-month employment gain

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OTTAWA - Canada's labour market delivered a surprise Friday with its biggest one-month employment gain since the government started collecting comparable data in 1976.

The country added 106,500 net jobs in April, the bulk of which were full time, Statistics Canada said in its latest labour force survey.

The rush of new jobs far surpassed market forecasts and helped drop the unemployment rate to 5.7 per cent, down from 5.8 per cent in March.

The labour market has seen strong numbers since mid-2016 and has remained a bright spot for an economy that has struggled in other areas. Economic growth, for instance, almost stalled over the winter.

"Wow. This was by and large a solid report. Nearly every indicator of quality came in strong this month," TD senior economist Brian DePratto wrote in a research note.

"Chalk this one up as a solid message that employers still have faith in the Canadian economy."

Overall, compared with March, employment in April was up 0.6 per cent, which was the highest proportional monthly expansion since 1994 when it reached 0.7 per cent.

A closer look at April reveals the overall gain was driven by the creation of 73,000 full-time jobs and 83,800 positions in the private sector.

The gains were spread across many industries, with both the services and factory sectors seeing gains. Employment rose by 32,400 in wholesale and retail trade positions, while the construction sector added 29,200 jobs.

A rush of 66,400 part-time positions for workers aged 15 to 24 years old helped lower the youth unemployment rate last month to 10.3 per cent, down from 10.7 per cent, the survey said.

By region, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and Prince Edward Island all saw net job gains last month.

Desjardins senior economist Helene Begin said in a report that nearly 80 per cent of the overall gain was concentrated in Ontario, which added 47,100 jobs in April, and in Quebec, which saw its jobless rate fall to 4. …

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