Sunday, 19 May, 2019

New Brunswick unemployment rate rises slightly in February

A steel worker builds a structure in Ottawa A steel worker builds a structure in Ottawa
Russell Knight | 11 March, 2019, 10:37

Much of the increase in Canada's population comes from global working-age migrants.

The February surge follows a gain of 66,800 positions in January to give 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, when Pierre Trudeau headed the government.

Scotiabank's Derek Holt, Head of Capital Markets Economics, thinks job creation and wage growth will get the Bank of Canada's attention.

Younger Canadians again enjoyed the bulk of the gains, as 15-25 year olds saw a 28.6k net increase, which helped bring their unemployment down 0.4p.p.to 10.8%.

The unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. saw an increase last month of 0.5 percent, up to 6.0 percent when compared to January's rate of 5.5 percent. In an economy with more than half a million vacant jobs, many seem to be finding work.

Strong full-time gains offset a loss in part-time roles, with 67,400 full-time jobs added from January to February, and 11,600 part-time jobs shed. The private sector led the way, adding 31.8k net positions, while the public sector added 8.8k. The number of self-employed increased by 15,100.

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The Bank of Canada keeps close watch of several wage indicators ahead of policy decisions on its key interest rate.

The gain was largely due to the service sectors (+46.2k), with notable strength in professional services (+18.3k) and retail/wholesale trade (+12.1k). Annual average hourly gains accelerated to 2.3 percent in February from 2 percent a month earlier, with pay for permanent employees up 2.2 percent, from 1.8 percent previously.

"We always take this survey with a grain of salt, and it could still be in the final stretch of catching up to the larger gains we saw past year in the more reliable payroll survey", said Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC, in a research note.

Employers in Ottawa-Gatineau added 7,300 jobs to their payrolls in February, pushing the region's unemployment rate down one percentage point to 5.1 per cent, Statistics Canada said Friday.

Year-over-year, the unemployment rate is up from February 2018 when it sat at 4.5%, and when 38,000 people were reported to be employed in a labour force of 39,800.

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