Full-Time Jobs Surge in February

Roman Schwartz
March 10, 2019

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 jobless rate, meanwhile, stayed flat at 5.8 per cent despite the job surge because more people were looking for work, too.

The much-stronger-than-expected labor market is the only thing giving policy makers comfort amid a run of bleak data in recent months.

In particular, the employment figures arrived a week after another report showed Canada had a period of unexpectedly weak growth for the final three months of 2018. Economists were forecasting a gain of just 1,200 in February. "And so, every time you think that there's no more workers to hire, there's more workers that seem to get hired". Reinforced by both the weak end to 2018 and Bank communication this week, seemingly solid job trends over the previous year or so have not been translating into consumer spending. The central bank has since cast doubts about future rate hikes and has warned the ongoing slump could last through the first half of 2019 - longer than it had anticipated.

Caranci said the Bank of Canada will likely view the February numbers "as a positive sign and a bit of a relief".

"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". The jobs mix was generally good, with full-time employment strongly in the driver's seat.

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Job growth in professional, scientific and technical services led employment growth, up by 18,000 jobs in February and increasing notably for the third time in four months.

More people were also employed in public administration; natural resources; and agriculture in February.

The Bank of Canada's benchmark interest rate is at 1.75 percent.

Employers in Ottawa-Gatineau added 7,300 jobs to their payrolls in February, pushing the region's unemployment rate down one percentage point to 5.1 per cent, Statistics Canada said Friday.

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%.

For the third month in a row it was Ontario (+36.9k) and Quebec (+14.9k) that drove the overall gains, with little notable movement in the other provinces.

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