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

Nanaimo Heritage Festival helps highlight the long weekend

Parade and family activities took place downtown today, May 19

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

Crews putting out one of the first wildfires of the season in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Fire Rescue, B.C. Wildfire Service called to Doumont Road fire

Nanaimo ferry stops to let bear swim past

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Say no to plastic straws

Straws make drinking frappuccinos easier, but they kill sea creatures, says letter writer

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

RDN looking into providing bus service 365 days a year

RDN transit committee to consider adding bus service on Christmas, New Year’s and Good Friday

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Wheelchair basketball in Nanaimo accessible to all abilities

Harbour City Slam play day introduced newcomers to the sport

Speed limit lowered at Departure Bay Beach

Speed limit reduced to 40 km/h until the fall

District of Lantzville making changes around how it spends surplus money

Changes would ‘hamstring’ council’s ability to manage money, argues councillor

Nanaimo outdoor enthusiasts petitioning as military cracks down on trespassers

Canadian Forces announces it is enforcing the boundaries of its weapons range on Westwood Ridges

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

Most Read