Friday, May 10, 2019 - 09:16

MNI DATA IMPACT: Canada Jobs Up 106.5K; Unemp Rate Dn To 5.7%

By Courtney Tower

OTTAWA (MNI) - The Canadian labor market surprised in April with a gain of 106,500 jobs, all in full-time work and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.7% from 5.8%, data released Friday by Statistics Canada showed.

Analysts in an MNI survey had expected employment gains of just 4,000. The unemployment rate dropped a notch although the participation rate increased to 65.9 from 65.7 the previous month.

For the other day's release, a 2.1% rise in overall March building permits, there was a concerning 1.5% decline in residential permits from the previous month. The Bank of Canada has identified the housing market as one of its chief Canadian economic concerns. Non-residential permits, on the other hand, were up by a strong 7.9%. The drop in overall permit was led by a 1.4% decline in Ottawa that was offset by gains in Toronto and Vancouver.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the labor force report:

- The average hourly wage for permanent employees, on a year-over-year basis, was up 2.6% from 2.3% the month before.

- Adjusted to United States measurements of employment, the Canadian unemployment rate in April was 4.7%, compared with 3.6% in the U.S., Statistics Canada said.

- The increased employment overall on the month saw a rise of 83,800 jobs in the private sector and 22,700 in the public sector. There was no change among the self-employed. Year-over-year, employment was up by 2.3% and total hours worked were up 1.3%.

- The strong employment results followed encouraging export data the day before. However, building permit data for March released Friday showed weakness in residential permits issued. Overall, recent data tend to support the present Bank of Canada intention to leave the policy 1.75% interest rate as it is for some time to come.

- Employment gains were widespread across industries. Regionally, there were increases in four provinces -- Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and Prince Edward Island. There was a decline in New Brunswick and the remaining five provinces showed little change. There were notable gains in wholesale and retail trade (+32,400) and construction (+32,100) but only a modest increase in manufacturing (+8,700).

--MNI Ottawa Bureau; tel: +1 202-371-2121; email:


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