March 26, 2019

Ontario leads Canada in job growth for February

11 March 2019, 10:37 | Hattie Nash

11:14am Image Credit The Canadian Press

Image Credit The Canadian Press

Job creation in Canada once again blew past expectations with 56,000 positions added in February - majority were full-time. Statistics Canada says it added 18,000 jobs in February with Ontario benefitting from most of the increase.

This is the best month for jobs since 2012, and this strong February comes after an even stronger January. "The weak economic data that closed out 2018, and weak momentum heading into this year has not yet had any impact on labour markets", said TD senior economist Brian DePratto in an investors' note, referring to Canada's overall gains in jobs.

Compared to one year ago, Alberta's unemployment rate was 6.7 per cent.

The nation as a whole added 55,900 jobs while the unemployment rate remained static at 5.8 per cent as more people entered the workforce. In an economy with more than half a million vacant jobs, many seem to be finding work.

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Part-time job losses of 11,600 were offset by an increase of 67,400 full-time jobs. In a speech on Thursday, central bank deputy governor Lynn Patterson highlighted Canada's strong employment numbers as one bright spot in a mixed bag of economic data.

The services-producing sector saw employment increase by 46,200 in February, while jobs in the goods-producing increased by 9,500. Money markets were pricing in less than a 15 percent chance of an interest rate cut this year by the Bank of Canada, down from almost 40 percent before the data.

Year-over-year average hourly wage growth in February for permanent employees was 2.3 per cent, up from January's reading of 1.8 per cent.

Among the Atlantic provinces, New Brunswick had the second-lowest employment rate behind Nova Scotia, at seven per cent.

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It's down two-tenths of a point from last month's rate of 4.7 percent, and the only province in Canada where the rate is under 5 percent.

In just the past month, Quebec's unemployment rate dropped by 0.1%, along with Manitoba's by 0.2%, BC's by 0.2%, and Nova Scotia's by 0.5%.

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