The overall national unemployment rate remained steady at 7.2% in April as there was little change on the job market in Canada. Roughly 12,000 jobs were created last month – which was close to what most economists had been predicting. While this is not a striking number, it is still better news than the previous month where the economy shed 55,000 jobs.

Year over year, this country has added 163,000 full time positions since April 2012.

Regionally, Alberta was the biggest winner last month with 15,000 jobs being added to the provincial economy. That brings the Alberta unemployment rate down to 4.4%.

On the other hand, Manitoba lost 11,000 jobs last month raising that provinces unemployment rate up to 5.8%. New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador also saw job declines in April losing roughly 3,000 positions each.

Employment in Ontario and Quebec was little changed last month.

Employment gains / losses by industry

Employment in the manufacturing sector increased by 21,000 jobs in April, the first monthly gain since a downward trend that started in June of 2012. In April, the number of employees working in public administration was also up by 13,000.

However there were 21,000 fewer people working in transportation and warehousing, bringing employment in that industry back to the level it was at a year ago.

Employment in “other services”, such as repair and maintenance or personal and household services, continued its year-long downward trend, losing 19,000 jobs last month. The number of workers in business, building and other support services was also down by 16,000 jobs in April.

Youth unemployment

Among younger workers aged from 15 to 24, employment declined by 19,000 jobs in April, bringing the unemployment rate for this group to 14.5%. That is roughly where it was one year ago.

By contrast, there were 31,000 more people aged 25 to 54 working last month, mostly men.


Peter Harris

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