A slight increase in new jobs in March kept the unemployment rate unchanged at 8.2 per cent last month, according to the latest Statistics Canada labour force survey.
The 18,000 new jobs continue the upward trend in employment that began last July and brings the total gain in new jobs to 176,000 in the past eight months.
Most of the jobs (32,000) were in part-time employment, more than off-setting losses in full-time jobs.
Despite the gain in March, part-time employment has fallen by 0.6 per cent since July 2009, while full-time work has grown by 1.4 per cent.
The number of private sector employees increased by 42,000 in March. However, since July, employment has grown at a faster rate among employees in the public sector than those in the private sector (two per cent versus 1.4 per cent). Over the same period, the number of self-employed has declined by 1.3 per cent.
Industries with notable increases in March were professional, scientific and technical services (38,000 new jobs), construction (21,000 new jobs) and natural resources (13,000 new jobs).
These gains were partially offset by declines in "other services" (30,000 job losses) business, building and other support services (26,000 job losses) and transportation and warehousing (20,000 job losses).
Employment edged up in Ontario, with 102,000 new jobs. This pushed the unemployment rate down 0.3 percentage points to 8.8 per cent.
Employment also edged up in Quebec (6,000 new jobs) and Saskatchewan (3,300 new jobs), while there was little change in the other provinces
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