Economy sheds jobs
OTTAWA—Canada unexpectedly lost 28,900 net jobs in April—delivering the biggest one-month employment blow to the economy this year.
Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, released today, found the unemployment rate remained steady at 6.9 percent for the second-straight month, suggesting that some Canadians had given up looking for work.
The last time the Canadian economy saw such a drop was December, when it lost 44,000 jobs.
“There’s no question this was a bit of a disappointment,” said Douglas Porter, chief economist with the Bank of Montreal.
“It continues a trend we’ve seen over the last six months of down, then up, and up, then down,” he noted.
“So we’re seeing a see-saw action in Canadian employment.”
Looking at the broader picture, the April losses followed a gain of 42,900 net new jobs in March, which means 14,000 jobs were added over the two-month period.
Porter said that beyond the monthly volatility, the take-home message is that Canadian job growth is cooling.
“Over the past year, it’s just been strong enough to slightly chip away at the unemployment rate,” he remarked.
“But we’re really not seeing a big improvement on that front.”
The report showed 30,900 full-time jobs were lost in April, compared with the addition of 2,000 positions in part-time employment.
The Statistics Canada data said the employment numbers dropped in seven of the 10 provinces, including Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.
Derek Burleton, deputy chief economist for TD Economics, said the “employment pendulum continues to swing violently.”
“The extent of the weakness in job creation in recent months has been surprising given the reasonably positive readings flowing from employer surveys and signs of continued moderate growth in the economy,” he noted.
“While there had been hope that this puzzle would have been solved today with a strong employment reading, we continue to be left waiting.”