Unemployment rate nationally unchanged, B.C. leads all provinces - again

Unemployment rate nationally unchanged, B.C. leads all provinces - again

The Atlantic provinces appear to be doing the worst regarding employment, with Newfoundland and Labrador facing an 11.8% unemployment rate, PEI at 10.3%, New Brunswick at 8.5%, and Nova Scotia at 6.4%. But Statistics Canada reports the economy added nearly 56-thousand net new jobs as more people started looking for work.

On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada acknowledged it was surprised by the extent of the weakness in last week's report.

The central bank had declined to hike its benchmark rate the day before Patterson's remarks amid signs of a slowing economy.

In addition, the Ontario Government said in a release that Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie has the largest employment growth year-over-year across the province at seven per cent growth.

Canada added approximately 67,400 full-time jobs during February but lost 11,600 part-time 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. 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. Rounding things out was a 15.1k net increase in self-employment.

U.S. job creation screeches to a halt in February
Retailers cut 6,100 positions, while jobs in a category that mostly includes restaurants and hotels were unchanged. Over the past year, the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped five-tenths of a percentage point.

By region, Ontario saw the biggest employment increase last month with the addition of 36,900 jobs.

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

The unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. rose half a percentage point to 6% in February, according to the latest labour force survey. In particular, it focuses on a reading called "wage common", which incorporates payroll data from several sources, not just from the labour force survey.

"Ka-boom, so much for employers lacking confidence to be heaping on this kind of job growth", said Holt, in a research note.

Within the province, the highest unemployment rate in February was 16.5 per cent, in the region that includes Campbellton and Miramichi.

"The ongoing gains in employment suggest that the current soft patch in broader activity is not morphing into something more ominous", BMO chief economist Douglas Porter wrote to investors.

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