Canada sees second straight monthly employment surge with 55900 net new jobs

Canada sees second straight monthly employment surge with 55900 net new jobs

The encouraging numbers provided a bright spot for the economy, which has posted disappointing data in recent months.

The Canadian dollar strengthened against its US counterpart on Friday, as bets for an interest rate cut by the Bank of Canada this year were slashed after domestic data showed a spike in jobs that surprised investors.

The breakdown in the numbers was also positive, with 67,400 new full-time jobs offsetting a loss of 11,600 part-time positions. The two-month gain is the best start to a year since 1981. The agency says the number of more desirable employee positions in the private sector climbed by 31,800 last month, while public sector jobs rose 8,900. The number of self-employed increased by 15,100. "The weak economic data that closed out 2018, and weak momentum heading into this year has not yet had any impact on labour markets", said TD senior economist Brian DePratto in an investors' note, referring to Canada's overall gains in jobs.

Numerous jobs that were introduced this past February were related to professional, scientific, and technical services, with 18,000 being created in those industries.

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

At Friday's appearance, Notley was announcing a new, $600M petrochemical upgrading facility to be built northeast of Edmonton, and says her government will continue with such initiatives to help add jobs to the economy. In particular, it focuses on a reading called "wage common", which incorporates payroll data from several sources, not just from the labour force survey. Canada even beat the disappointing U.S. February tally of 20,000 - for the first month in more than 8 years.

"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 a year ago in the more reliable payroll survey", said Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC, in a research note.

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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