The Canadian economy, called a "true northern tiger" by Finance Minister John Manley during his budget speech last month, rolled ahead in February, creating 55,000 new jobs in the month, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada.
But the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.4 per cent, the result of more people entering the workforce.
Since 2002, when employment began to pick up steam, job gains have totaled 613,000, an increase of 4.1 per cent.
More full-time and part-time job
The upward trend in full-time employment continued in February with an increase of 28,000 jobs.
Part-time employment also jumped by 28,000, erasing most of the decline in January.
Factory employment rose 21,000, with gains spread across most provinces. The largest increases were in wood and furniture production and in food processing.
Employment in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing continued to advance, spurred on by robust construction activity. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation recently reported that 2002 ended on a high note, posting the highest level of housing starts since 1989.
Unemployment rate by jurisdiction
Canada: 7.4 per cent
Newfoundland and Labrador: 17.5 per cent
Prince Edward Island: 11.5 per cent
Nova Scotia: 8.9 per cent
New Brunswick: 10.7 per cent
Quebec: 8.6 per cent
Ontario: 6.7 per cent
Manitoba: 5.1 per cent
Saskatchewan: 6.0 per cent
Alberta: 5.1 per cent
British Columbia: 8.2 per cent