Full-Time Jobs Surge in February

Full-Time Jobs Surge in February

Troy Powers
March 11, 2019

"I think the Bank is pretty much on hold and this shows the economy has some underlying resilience", he said, adding a rate cut was unlikely "any time soon". Total employment exceeded 18.9 million, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.8%.

Canada's February surge followed an even bigger gain of 66,800 positions in January. The number of self-employed increased by 15,100. Canada's economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter of 2018 on plunging Canadian crude export prices.

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate for the Grande Prairie-Peace River-Banff-Jasper-Rocky Mountain House region stood at 5.1 percent last month, up from 4.8 per cent in January. Reinforced by both the weak end to 2018 and Bank communication this week, seemingly solid job trends over the a year ago or so have not been translating into consumer spending. For the third time in four months, the number of positions increased notably.

The breakdown in the numbers was also positive, with 67,400 new full-time jobs offsetting a loss of 11,600 part-time positions.

Overall, the employment increase was led by a gain of 46,200 positions in the services sector, largely concentrated in the categories of professional, scientific and technical services, public administration and wholesale and retail trade.

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The Bank of Canada keeps close watch of several wage indicators ahead of policy decisions on its key interest rate.

Wages accelerated again, rising 2.2% for permanent employees (January: + 1.8%).

Bank of Canada deputy governor Lynn Patterson said Thursday that she expected economic growth to build fresh momentum in the second half of the year, thanks in large part to the still-strong employment conditions and improving wages.

The employment gains in recent months come amid an otherwise dismal performance for the economy recently, amid stresses in the oil sector, weakening housing markets, volatility in global financial markets and waning consumer and business confidence.

Younger Canadians enjoyed the bulk of the gains, as 15-25 year olds recorded a net rise of 28.6k, which helped bring their jobless rate down 0.4 percentage points to 10.8 percent.