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

Convicted animal abuser Catherine Adams to return to B.C. court in July

Catherine Adams is under a 20-year ban on owning animals, from a 2015 sentence in Smithers

Good job boys

Oakley (L) and Storm sold lemonade in Houston to raise money to… Continue reading

The north, rural areas deserve own ICBC rates, says Houston council

Matter to be considered at provincial convention this fall

Houston get more initial attack crews

The BC Wildfire Service branches in Houston and Burns Lake are preparing… Continue reading

Illegal dumping

The rabbit trail between Mountainview and Lund Road has become a dumping… Continue reading

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Roadside device to weed out THC can’t detect impairment, B.C. lawyer says

‘This fact alone is likely to have serious implications for Canadians’ Charter Rights,’ lawyer Sarah Leamon warns

B.C. firefighters rescue frozen dog from ice

The fire crew found a dog stuck in the at Lake Paul on May 20

Most British Columbians agree the ‘big one’ is coming, but only 50% are prepared

Only 46 per cent of British Columbians have prepared an emergency kit with supplies they might need

B.C. man to pay Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party $20k over lawsuit

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Sitting and sleeping on downtown sidewalks could net $100 fine in Penticton

The measure, which still requires final approval, would be enforced between May and Sept. 30

Survey finds 15% of Canadian cannabis users with a valid licence drive within two hours of using

Survey also finds middle-aged men are upping their usage following legalization

Most Read