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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Sept. 20

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Two Abbotsford elementary schools record COVID-19 exposures, according to Fraser Health

‘Exposures’ defined as 1 positive case at school, ‘clusters’ as 2 or more, ‘outbreaks’ as widespread

60 middle school students in one Abbotsford classroom? It’s true, stunned parent is told

Parent says she was in disbelief when her son told her he was in a class with 60 other kids

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Neighbour’s quick actions save dogs and home in Chilliwack townhouse fire

Neighbour heard fire alarm and called 911 and rescued dogs from unit on fire

First full day of B.C.’s election campaign begins amid COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson and the Green party’s Sonia Furstenau criticized John Horgan’s decision

RCMP issue two $2,300 COVID fines at same Metro Vancouver vacation rental within 24 hours

Cpl. Mike Kalanj said it was ‘quite frankly appalling’ to see parties breaking COVID-19 rules

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Here’s how voting amid a pandemic will happen in B.C.

Elections BC has worked with the provincial health office to determine safety protocols for voting

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. privacy commissioner will hear First Nations complaints about COVID

The hearing will rely on written submissions from the Indigenous governments as well as the Ministry of Health

Most Read