Canada’s job numbers make history with biggest gain on record

Canada just posted the biggest jobs gain on record

Canada posted the largest one-month employment gain on record, according to Statistics Canada numbers released today, suggesting the country's economy may not be as sluggish right now as many predicted.

The Canadian labour market saw its biggest one month surge in over 40 years.

The unemployment rate dipped to 5.7 per cent from 5.8 per cent, despite increasing participation levels as more Canadians flooded into the booming labour market seeking work. Most of the gains were full-time, up 73,000, and in the private sector. That trounced the median economist forecast for a gain of 12,000 positions. A separate measure of gainful employment added 0.6 percent, the highest such jump since 1994. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen "Poloz is going to stay on the sidelines for a little bit here", said Andrew Kelvin, chief Canada strategist at TD Securities.

The Canadian dollar rallied on the back of the jobs report to 1.3400 against the US dollar.

The month-over-month headline employment swings are notoriously volatile - so there is reason to take even a 107k increase with a big grain of salt.

Compared with a year earlier, the economy added 426,400 jobs for a proportional increase of 2.3 per cent. Over the past two years, the economy has added 700,000 jobs. 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.

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Employment gains were spread across industries including wholesale and retail trade; construction; information, culture and recreation; agriculture; and public administration. Pay gains for permanent employees rose to 2.6 per cent, the strongest increase since August.

Canada has seen a massive rise in gainful employment amid the declining jobless rate and rising wages, all of which are set to contribute to higher consumer confidence and spending, and boost business activity in the manufacturing and services sectors this year.

"We're drawing in people, and that tells you how tight the labour market is", Tony Stillo, director of Canada economics at Oxford Economics, said by phone. Of those jobs, almost 25,000 were in Alberta.

The central bank has raised rates five times since July 2017.

Employment in Ontario jumped by 47,000 in April, with job increases in Canada's largest province at 205,000 over the past year.

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