Canada Posts Historic Gain in Jobs in April


A record number of Canadians returned to work in April, adding pressure on the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates in June, ahead of other major industrialized countries.

Statistics Canada said the economy added 108,700 jobs in the month, the highest since Statscan began tracking the data in 1976. The percentage increase, at 0.6 percent, was the largest since August 2002.

The data showed private business, not government, doing the hiring for a second straight month.

The bank last month took a first step toward tightening monetary policy by removing a commitment to keep rates at a rock-bottom 0.25 percent until the end of June. Most market players now expect the central bank to raise rates to 0.50 percent on June 1.

Since the labor market began recovering last July, 285,000 workers have been added to payrolls -- still short of the 417,000 jobs lost between October 2008 and July 2009.

The services sector continued to generate more employment than the goods-producing sector in April, led by wholesale and retail trade as well as business, building and other support services. Hiring in the goods sector was weakened by the loss of 20,600 factory workers.

Employment growth was up both in full-time and part-time work and concentrated among men between ages 25 and 54, Statscan said.

The average wage of permanent employees, watched by the Bank of Canada for inflation pressures, rose 2.3 percent in April from a year earlier, down from 2.5 percent in March.


TradingEconomics.com, Reuters
5/8/2010 7:58:24 PM