Canada’s Self-Employed Lead to Unexpected Job Gain

Canada’s economy created new jobs for the first time in six months and the country’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in April, as workers facing the first recession since 1992 created new positions for themselves., Bloomberg 5/8/2009 8:52:00 AM

A net 35,900 people found work during the month and the jobless rate stayed at 8 percent, the highest in seven years, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa.

April’s surprise gain provides a reprieve as the world’s eighth-largest economy shrinks amid a global financial crisis that sapped orders for Canada’s lumber, automobiles and metals and led to lower commodity prices that reduced income.

Canada’s economy shrank at a 3.4 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter, the fastest since 1991, and the contraction likely accelerated last quarter, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney said last month.

About 1.9 percent of the country’s workers -- a total of 321,000 --have lost their jobs since October.

Self-employed positions rose by 37,000 in April, while there was a drop of 1,100 in the number of employees. Services led April’s gain, with the information, culture and recreation sector adding 17,100 workers, and business, building and other support services creating 14,600 positions. Manufacturers added 6,700 workers, the second gain in three months.

Full-time payrolls rose by 39,400 positions in April, Statistics Canada said. Part-time jobs fell by 3,600.

Construction firms pared 7,500 workers in April, the statistics agency said. More than 8 percent of construction workers -- a total of 106,300 -- have lost their jobs since October.

Natural resources companies fired 4,100 workers in April, pushing the losses since October to 20,100.

Canada’s Self-Employed Lead to Unexpected Job Gain