Canada sees second straight monthly employment surge with 55,900 net new jobs

Canada sees second straight monthly employment surge with 55,900 net new jobs

Over the 12-month stretch leading up to February, total employment rose by 369,100 jobs or two per cent.

"As you know, the report that's out today shows that the number of jobs in Alberta has actually increased modestly month-over-month, but we're continuing to attract workers from across the country to Alberta".

The breakdown in the numbers was also positive, with 67,400 new full-time jobs offsetting a loss of 11,600 part-time positions.

Stats Canada states that positions in those areas have been up since March 2018 and have risen by 6.8% since last February. The back-to-back results gave Canada its strongest two-month stretch of job creation since the spring of 2012 - and its best two-month start to a year since 1981.

The goods-producing sectors added 9,500 new positions following job gains in natural resources, agriculture and manufacturing.

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"It was a great report card for the Canadian jobs market and it flies in the face of some of the other statistics that we've been seeing lately out of Canada", said Scott Smith, managing partner at Viewpoint Investment Partners.

Alberta's employment level was mostly unchanged from January and last February, but the agency says the number of people looking for work has increased, pushing the provincial unemployment rate up to 7.3 percent.

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.

The Bank of Canada's benchmark interest rate is at 1.75 percent. 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 recent strength of labor market gains sent the trend rate to 48.3k per month, the strongest it has been since 2002. Economists were forecasting a gain of just 1,200 in February.

Younger Canadians again enjoyed the bulk of the gains, as 15-25 year olds saw a 28.6k net increase, which helped bring their unemployment down 0.4p.p.to 10.8%.

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