Jobs increase by 15,300 in February, unemployment drops to 6.6 per cent

Service sector, including retail and wholesale trade and public administration, lead the gain
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 03/13/2017
Labour market
Canada's service sector, including retail and wholesale trade and public administration, lead the gain in jobs in February. CREDIT: Shutterstock

OTTAWA (Reuters) — Canada added more jobs than expected in February, extending the labour market's recent strong run as full-time hiring jumped, while fewer people looking for work sent the unemployment rate lower, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.

The 15,300 increase in jobs last month topped economists' expectations for a gain of 2,500.

The gain was driven by a 105,100 increase in full-time hiring, which offset a 89,800 drop in part-time positions. The gain could temper concerns about deteriorating job quality after an increase in part-time work last year.

A decrease in the participation rate to 65.8 percent saw the unemployment rate fall to 6.6 per cent from 6.8 per cent, which tied with January 2015 for the lowest rate since October 2008, just as the global financial crisis hit.

Hiring was strongest in the service sectors, including a 19,100 increase in retail and wholesale trade, while public administration rose by 11,900. Public administration has created 65,200 new positions since last February as federal and local government hiring has increased, said Statistics Canada .

Feb 2017 — Jan 2017

Jobs gain/loss +15,300 +48,300

Full-time +105,100 +15,800

Part-time -89,800 +32,400

Unemployment rate 6.6 pct 6.8 pct

Participation 65.8 pct 65.9 pct

Labor force 19.575 mln 19.598 mln

Feb 2017 Feb 2016 Per cent change

Average hourly wage $26.73 $26.45 +1.1

NOTE:

- Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected the economy to gain 2,500 jobs in February and for the unemployment rate to remain at 6.8 per cent.

- The employment figures are seasonally adjusted.

- Hourly wage figures are for permanent employees.

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