Canada gained 56000 jobs in February, unemployment rate unchanged

Irving Hamilton
March 11, 2019

"A total of 67,400 full-time positions were added during the month but 11,600 part-time jobs were shed, accounting for the 56,000 net total".

"Almost all the new jobs came in Ontario, which added 59,000 full-time positions".

This is the best month for jobs since 2012, and this strong February comes after an even stronger January. Reinforced by both the weak end to 2018 and Bank communication this week, solid job trends over the past year have not been translating into consumer spending. The year-on-year rate of gains was a strong 2 percent in February.

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate for the Grande Prairie-Peace River-Banff-Jasper-Rocky Mountain House region stood at 5.1 percent last month, up from 4.8 per cent in January. "And so, every time you think that there's no more workers to hire, there's more workers that seem to get hired". Rounding things out was a 15.1k net increase in self-employment.

Overall, the employment increase was led by a gain of 46,200 positions in the services sector, largely concentrated in the categories of professional, scientific and technical services, public administration and wholesale and retail trade. "Our investments in infrastructure and services will generate tens of thousands of good jobs".

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In addition, the Ontario Government said in a release that Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie has the largest employment growth year-over-year across the province at seven per cent growth.

Wages accelerated again, rising 2.2% for permanent employees (January: + 1.8%). In particular, it focuses on a reading called "wage common", which incorporates payroll data from several sources, not just from the labour force survey.

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.

Is there any ceiling for job growth in B.C.?

"We always take this survey with a grain of salt, and it could still be in the final stretch of catching up to the larger gains we saw past year in the more reliable payroll survey", said Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC, in a research note.

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