Employment rose by 24,700 in May, the fifth consecutive monthly increase, according to Statistics Canada. However, May's unemployment rate was unchanged from April at 8.1 per cent.
Economists were predicting a modest increase of 15,000 jobs after April's nearly 109,000 new jobs.
Since the start of the recovery in July 2009, employment has risen by 310,000 — representing about 75 per cent of the jobs lost during the recession.
Full-time employment increased by 67,000 in May, partly offset by 43,000 losses in part-time jobs. Since July 2009, virtually all employment gains have been in full time.
The number of private sector employees increased by 43,000 in May, while there were 28,000 fewer self-employed workers. Since July 2009, the number of employees in the private sector has risen by 2.8 per cent, with most of the gains in recent months.
Since July 2009, the public sector has increased by 2.2 per cent, while self-employment has fallen by 2.3 per cent.
Industries with notable employment increases in May were transportation and warehousing (26,000); health care and social assistance (18,000); public administration (13,000); and agriculture (9,000).
Declines were observed in information, culture and recreation (25,000); accommodation and food services (22,000); and natural resources (11,000). Employment was little changed in manufacturing and construction in May.
In May, employment was up in Ontario, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Nova Scotia.
At the same time, employment declined in British Columbia and Prince Edward Island. There was little employment change in the other provinces in May.
May's overall employment growth was mainly among women aged 55 and over.
Average hourly wages rose by 2.4 per cent in May compared with the same month last year, an increase similar to those observed in recent months.
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