A worker walks on a construction site in Hamilton, Ont., on November 14, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Lynett

Canada’s unemployment rate down 0.1% in biggest one-month gain since 1976

The labour market has seen strong numbers since mid-2016

Canada’s labour market delivered a surprise Friday with its biggest one-month employment surge since 1976, when the government started collecting comparable data.

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 unexpected increase helped drop the unemployment rate to 5.7 per cent last month, 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.

Economists had expected a gain of 10,000 jobs for the month and the unemployment rate to remain at 5.8 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Employment grew 0.6 per cent with the April increase, which was the highest proportional monthly expansion since 1994 when it reached 0.7 per cent.

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

Compared with a year earlier, Canada added 426,400 jobs for a proportional increase of 2.3 per cent. The labour market has created an average of 36,000 jobs per month over the past year.

READ MORE: Bank of Canada offers explanations for country’s ‘puzzling’ wage disappointment

Year-over-year average hourly wage growth for all employees in April was 2.5 per cent, up from a reading of 2.4 per cent in March. Wage growth is a key indicator monitored by the Bank of Canada ahead of its interest-rate decisions.

The gains were spread across many industries, with both the services and factory sectors seeing employment increases. Employment rose by 32,400 in the category of 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.

The April increase put Canada back on the job-creation path following a one-month interruption in March.

Overall employment dropped by 7,200 net jobs in March, the first monthly decrease after six consecutive months of rising employment between September and February.

READ MORE: Iran sanctions send oil prices, supply concerns higher

Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Freezing rain warning issued for central Interior Remembrance Day

Highway alerts in place for Begbie Summitt and Pine Pass

BCTF rejects mediator’s recommendations for settlement

Negotiations between B.C. teachers and the province will continue

Isaac Mack BCRA 2019 Bullriding Champion

Mack wrapped up the BCRA season with $12,484.99 in season earnings.

B.C. debate becomes bitter over impact of UN Indigenous rights law

Premier John Horgan cites salmon farm closures as model, opposition points to LNG, contracts

Indigenous-led organizations and province announce initiative to get North Coast communities off oil

First Nations communities from Haida Gwaii to Bella Bella will be eligible

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Devils strike early, hang on for 2-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver now 0-8-3 in last 11 games versus New Jersey

Most Read