Employment rose by 107,000 in April, with notable gains in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and Prince Edward Island.
The unexpected jump in employment far surpassed the forecasted increase of around 10,000 net jobs and helped push Canada’s unemployment rate to 5.7 per cent, down slightly from 5.8 in March.
Of the net new jobs in April, 73,000 were full-time and the majority of the gains — 84,000 — occurred in the private sector.
On a year-over-year basis, employment grew by 426,000, of which 248,000 was full-time.
Statistics Canada reported that employment rose for youths aged 15 to 24, people aged 55 and older, and women in the core working ages of 25 to 54.
“Wow. This was by and large a solid report,” Brian DePratto, senior economist with the Toronto Dominion Bank, wrote in an update. “Nearly every indicator of quality came in strong this month: the best-ever gain came with solid full-time job growth, all in employees (rather than self-employed), more Canadians were drawn into labour markets, and wages were up.
“Chalk this one up as a solid message that employers still have faith in the Canadian economy.”
Bloomberg News said the employment increase reflected the fact the Canadian economy is pulling in new workers, namely immigrants and those 24 and younger, rather than falling unemployment.
Biggest gain in Ontario
Canada’s most populous province, Ontario, posted an employment increase of 47,000 in April, which Statistics Canada said was mainly due to gains in part-time work among people aged 15 to 24.
Employment increased by 38,000 in Quebec and the province’s unemployment rate dropped 0.3 percentage points to 4.9 per cent, the lowest rate since Statistics Canada began compiling similar data in 1976.
Alberta also posted an employment increase in April of 21,000.
New Brunswick was the only Canadian province to see employment decrease in April and the remaining Canadian provinces saw little change.
Employment gains were spread across several industries, namely:
- Wholesale and retail trade (+32,000)
- Construction (+29,000)
- Information, culture and recreation (+14,000)
- Public administration (+9,000)
- Agriculture (+7,000)
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