Employment rose by 20,900 last month, the fifth gain in seven months, Statistics Canada said. The jobless rate fell to 8.2 percent.
Prime Minister Harper said yesterday the economy is emerging from the global credit crisis as one of the strongest amongst developed countries. He pledged to extend stimulus measures and focus on creating more jobs until growth was firmly rooted.
Canada’s economy gained 87,700 jobs over the past 12 months, supporting comments by policy makers that the labor market has stabilized. From the employment peak in October 2008, Canada has lost more than 250,000 jobs.
Full-time employment rose by 60,200 in February, while part-time jobs dropped by 39,300, Statistics Canada said. The number of employees rose by 38,100, while self-employment fell by 17,200.
Employment in the goods-producing sector grew by 17,800 workers in February to a level that is still down 101,800 from a year earlier.
Jobs for men over 55 accounted for all of February’s gain, the statistics agency said. Employment for people aged between 15 and 24, meanwhile, fell by 4,200 positions. The unemployment rate for that group rose to 15.2 percent, from 15.1 percent in January.
Average hourly wage growth accelerated to 2.4 percent in February from a year ago, Statistics Canada said, compared with January’s 1.8 percent, which was the slowest pace of wage growth since June 2003.