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May 9, 2014

Canada surprises with April job losses, underperforming U.S.

Jobless rate unchanged at 6.9 per cent
    
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OTTAWA (Reuters) — Canada's economy lost 28,900 jobs in April, Statistics Canada said on Friday in a report that revealed across-the-board weakness, confirming the labour market is stalled and adding jobs at a more sluggish pace than in the United States.

The biggest losses were in accommodation and food services followed by finance, insurance, real estate and leasing. All the job losses were in full-time positions and the majority were in the private sector.

Market players had forecast, on average, 12,000 net new jobs in April following a big gain of 42,900 in March.

The jobless rate was unchanged at 6.9 per cent because fewer people participated in the labour force, Statscan said. The participation rate was 66.1 per cent compared with 66.2 per cent in March.

Employment was little changed since last August, Statscan said. The six-month moving average for employment growth stood at 2,300 in April, down from 9,700 in March. In the year to April, the number of people working rose by 0.8 per cent, or 149,000.

Adjusted to U.S. methods for comparison purposes, the Canadian unemployment rate was down 0.2 percentage points in the year to six per cent, compared with a 1.2 point decrease in the U.S. unemployment rate to 6.3 per cent.

The Canadian employment rate slipped 0.3 percentage points to 62.1 per cent versus a 0.3 point increase to 58.9 per cent in the United States

    
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