Canada saw an increase of 107,000 jobs in April, its biggest one-month employment surge since 1976, according to Statistics Canada Friday. The April report notched the strongest monthly employment gain on record since Canada started tracking the figures in 1976. The unemployment rate nationally dipped to 5.7 per cent.
Strong increases in youth employment also lowered the unemployment rate for that demographic to record lows.
The labour market has seen strong numbers since mid-2016 and has remained a bright spot for an economy that has struggled in other areas. That should still leave the Bank of Canada with plenty of flexibility to hold off on interest rate hikes any time soon.
The Canadian dollar jumped after the report, gaining 0.4 per cent to $1.3421 per US dollar at 8:34 a.m.in Toronto trading. Two-year Canadian government bond yields climbed 4 basis points to 1.62 per cent, as investors pared bets the Bank of Canada would need to cut rates to fuel the expansion. "Almost every indicator of quality came in strong this month", TD senior economist Brian DePratto wrote in a research note.
The unemployment rate declined to 5.7%, the lowest since December, from 5.8% in March. Toronto's housing market, the country's largest, is stabilizing after a recent slump. Hourly wage growth also accelerated to 2.5 per cent year over year, an eight-month high and the fifth straight increase. There are also signs consumers continue to spend and borrow, aided in large part by the strong labour market, even amid worries about the outlook.
A closer look at the April numbers reveals the overall gain was driven by the creation of 73,000 full-time jobs and 83,800 positions in the private sector.
The economy added 39,700 goods-producing sector jobs, mostly in construction, and gained 66,900 services-sector jobs, mostly in wholesale and retail trade. However, the jobs report from the federal agency also noted that the labour force, which is the number of people either working or looking for work, fell by 3,800 in April.
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. Thomas was 58.6 per cent in April, down from 59.5 per cent in March.
Employment had increased in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and Prince Edward Island, while a decline in New Brunswick was observed.