Canada sees biggest monthly employment growth since 1976

Canada’s jobless rate dropped to 5.7 per cent and is hovering near four-decade

Over the past year, Canada has created 426,400 jobs, the biggest one-year gain since 2007; nearly a quarter of these were added last month alone. The upbeat data may help put the Canadian Dollar back on a bullish footing going forward, with the currency struggling for direction lately.

Desjardins senior economist Helene Begin said in a report that almost 80 per cent of the overall gain was concentrated in Ontario, which added 47,100 jobs in April, and in Quebec, which saw its jobless rate fall to 4.9 per cent for its lowest level since the survey's creation in 1976.

Manufacturing, agriculture, utilities, health care, and financial services also saw gains while, professional services and education saw losses.

Employment grew 0.6 per cent with the April increase, which was the highest proportional monthly expansion since 1994.

Canada's economy posted record job gains in April, along with a pick-up in wages, in the strongest sign yet the nation's economy has emerged from a soft patch. Friday's numbers add to other indicators that show the country is on the path back to growth after stalling for much of the past six months.

The average year-over-year wage growth of permanent employees - a figure closely watched by the central bank - was 2.6% in April, the highest since August 2018 and up from 2.3% in March.

The Canadian dollar jumped 0.7 per cent to 74.70 United States cents at 9:54 Toronto.

Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in Ontario increased by 205,000 or 2.8 per cent.

"There's still an evident mismatch between what the jobs data are saying about the economy and measures of sales and output that get aggregated into real GDP reports", he wrote. Annual hourly wage gains accelerated to 2.5 per cent in April, the fastest annual gain since September, up from 2.4 per cent in March.

"We still believe that recent labour market performance is not consistent with broader economic conditions and is unsustainable, although the magnitude of this month's outperformance suggests that the inherent volatility of the labour force survey is not the sole factor".

Employment was up in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and Prince Edward Island. Thomas was 58.6 per cent in April, down from 59.5 per cent in March.

Among youth aged 15 to 24, employment rocketed up by 47,000 positions, fuelled largely by part-time employment, squashing the youth unemployment rate to its lowest level since 1976, too.



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