‘Overall, this was a good news day for Canada’s workers, but we’re still well behind the U.S. in terms of getting back to full employment and more vibrant wage gains.’ – Avery Shenfeld, CIBC World Markets
The Canadian unemployment rate fell unexpectedly last month, as employment rose more than expected. Statistics Canada reported on Friday that employment climbed 15,300 in February, following the preceding month’s unrevised gain of 48,300 and surpassing analysts’ expectations for a 600 rise. On an annual basis, employment advanced 288,000, with the largest gains posted in July 2016. Month-over-month and year-over-year, full-time employment rose 105,000 and 235,000, respectively, while the number of part-time workers declined 90,000 in February. In regional terms, the biggest employment gains were registered in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The wholesale and retail trade industry contributed most to the February rise, with an increase of 35,000. Furthermore, following stronger-than-expected employment data, the Canadian jobless rate dropped to 6.6% last month, the lowest since June 2016. Analysts suggest that the Canadian economy has fully recovered from the oil price shock, which hit the economy in 2014, and the Alberta wildfires that took place in May 2016. Despite strong economic and employment growth, the Bank of Canada is unlikely to change its monetary policy.