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Economy adds 58,200 jobs: Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada says the economy surprised again in April, creating 58,200 new jobs as employment rose in most goods-producing industries and in most provinces.


May 11, 2012
by PLANT STAFF, CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA: Statistics Canada says the economy surprised again in April, creating 58,200 new jobs as employment rose in most goods-producing industries and in most provinces.

Still, the unemployment rate edged up one-tenth of a point to 7.3%, but that was because even more people were looking for work last month.

The big gains, following a stunning 82,000 increase in jobs in March, changes the picture for Canada’s labour market, which until two months ago had been mostly stagnant since the summer.

The details in the April jobs report were even stronger than the headline, with all the new workers coming in the employee category rather than self-employment. They were also mostly in the private sector and mostly full time.

The agency says employment rose in manufacturing, construction, natural resources and agriculture, as well as the education sector. And, unlike in March, when most of the new jobs were concentrated in Central Canada, this time the winners included the Atlantic region, Quebec and the West.

Manufacturing is continuing to add jobs. Employment increased 24,000 continuing an upward trend that started in December 2011. However, Statistics Canada says the gains offset declines in previous months, leaving employment in manufacturing little changed from 12 months earlier.

Employment in natural resources, the fastest growing industry, continued on an upward trend that started in September 2011, with gains of 11,000. Year-over-year employment growth is 12.5%.

More people were searching for work in Ontario as the unemployment rate increased 0.4% to 7.8%. While employment was up compared with 12 months earlier, Statistics Canada says it was entirely the result of notable gains in March.

The April gains brought the number of jobs created over the past year to 214,000, all in the full-time work category.

Derek Burleton, Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist fro TD Economics said the pace of hiring trend is consistent with economic growth running at a steady but modest pace of around 2% nation-wide.

“April’s figures suggest that construction, manufacturing and natural resources are well-positioned to take on much of the heavy lifting, supported by condo construction, rising US demand for autos and other exports and relatively high commodity prices,” he said in a commentary.

However, he noted that while the rebound in the labour force participation rate was a positive development, it doesn’t erase a continued downtrend evident since the recession ended, despite a flood of older workers entering the job market.

“This downtrend in the participate rate suggests that there may still be room for the jobless rate to fall, notwithstanding a relatively lacklustre growth picture.”

He said historically, 2.5% to 3% growth has been consistent with a declining unemployment rate.