Unemployment in the region down again, says Statistics Canada report

Gladys Abbott
May 12, 2018

This pushed the unemployment rate up 0.5 percentage points to 6.3 per cent.

In the country's two strongest economies - Ontario and B.C. - the average hourly wage expanded by 4.3 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively.

Statistics Canada notes the number of people working in British Columbia was little changed in April, as growth in full-time work was offset by a decline in part-time employment.

Nationally, wage growth in April reached its highest level in almost six years as the economy posted a slight net loss of 1,100 jobs and an unemployment rate that held steady at 5.8 per cent.

The indicator, which is closely monitored by the Bank of Canada ahead of its interest-rate decisions, posted an annual increase of 3.3% in March.

Still, economists said the details of the report were encouraging, with full-time jobs rising and an acceleration in wage growth supporting expectations of another rate increase in July.

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The most recent reading of wage common was 2.3 per cent for the fourth quarter of past year. The central bank's next policy decision is scheduled for May 30.

Employment also increased both year-over-year and month-to-month by hitting 73.1 per cent.

The agency released its monthly Labour Force Survey Friday.

Goods-producing industries shed 15,900 positions, mostly in construction. The labour force participation rate for young people slipped to 63.4 per cent from 63.8 per cent.

Adjusted to US concepts, the unemployment rate in Canada was 4.9 per cent in April, compared with 3.9 per cent in the United States.

The declines were tempered by a 21,300 increase in jobs in professional and scientific services, while the accommodation and food sector added 16,900 jobs.

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