Canada saw unexpectedly strong job growth in April as the economy added 58,000 new jobs, most of them full-time positions. This marks the second month in a row of solid job creation as over 80,000 jobs were added in March.

This continued job growth comes as a surprise to economists who had been expecting only modest growth of roughly 8,000 jobs on April. The positive news is likely encouraging more people to enter the job market, driving the unemployment rate up a notch to 7.3%.

Overall employment is up in Canada compared with this time last year by 1.2% or 214,000 mostly full-time jobs.

Jobs by industry

The construction and manufacturing industries added the most jobs in April with 25,000 and 24,000 new positions being added respectively. Educational services also saw solid growth with 17,000 new jobs added. This offsets recent losses in the education sector, bringing the total number of jobs back up to the level last seen a year ago.

Employment in natural resources continued its upward trend by adding 11,000 new jobs in April, making it the fastest growing of all industries with an employment growth of 12.5%.

There were also gains of 10,000 new jobs in agriculture last month.

On the less positive side, there was a decline of 32,000 jobs in public administration in April.


Employment was up in most provinces across the country in April. Alberta added 11,000 new jobs and has seen the greatest year-over-year increase in jobs of all provinces. The Alberta unemployment rate is at 4.9%.

Quebec added 23,000 jobs in April, bringing that province’s unemployment rate to 8.0%. British Columbia added 20,000 new jobs last month, and Saskatchewan saw gains of 6,800 jobs.

4,500 new jobs were created in New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador added 3,900 positions. This leaves both provinces at roughly the employment levels they were at one year ago.

While the overall job numbers in Ontario were little changed from March, the unemployment rate edged up slightly to 7.8% as more people began looking for work.

Young people aged 15-24 continue to struggle on the job market as the unemployment rate for this group remains high at 13.9% or nearly double the national average.