Canada’s Labor Market Is Off to Its Best Start Since 1981

Daniel Fowler
March 10, 2019

The province saw job losses in agriculture, down 1,800 jobs, construction, down 6,300 jobs, and transport and warehousing employment down by 2,300 jobs.

Job creation in Canada once again blew past expectations with 56,000 positions added in February - a lot of them were full-time. Quebec's jobless rate dropped to 5.3 percent, while Ontario's remained at 5.7 percent.

According to Statistics Canada, Canada's economy added almost 60,000 jobs this February, with the majority being in Ontario. But Statistics Canada reports the economy added nearly 56-thousand net new jobs as more people started looking for work. The back-to-back results gave Canada its strongest two-month stretch of job creation since the spring of 2012 - and its best two-month start to a year since 1981.

"We're going to continue to do stuff like this to generate more employment, to continue to invest in infrastructure generally and continue to fight to get the pipeline to tidewater in order to build that level of investor confidence that will move us forward".

The overall Canadian increase even outpaced job creation in the United States, where figures showed an increase of just 20,000 new positions last month. The private sector led the way, adding 31.8k net positions, while the public sector added 8.8k.

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Year-over-year average hourly wage growth in February for permanent employees was 2.3 per cent, which was up from a reading of 1.8 per cent for January.

The Bank of Canada's benchmark interest rate is at 1.75 percent. In a speech on Thursday, central bank deputy governor Lynn Patterson highlighted Canada's strong employment numbers as one bright spot in a mixed bag of economic data. "Our investments in infrastructure and services will generate tens of thousands of good jobs".

Much of the employment gain shown in February was due to Ontario seeing 37,000 additional jobs - weighed slightly against their western neighbour, Manitoba, which saw a decrease of 3,300.

Younger Canadians enjoyed the bulk of the gains, as 15-25 year olds recorded a net rise of 28.6k, which helped bring their jobless rate down 0.4 percentage points to 10.8 percent.

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