21,000 net new jobs in February: StatsCan

Unemployment dropped slightly to 8.2 per cent

Employment increased by 21,000 in February, with large gains in full-time work partly offset by losses in part-time, according to Statistics Canada.

There were 60,000 new full-time jobs but part-time jobs decreased by 39,000. Men aged 55 and over accounted for all of February's employment gain.

The job gains pushed the unemployment rate down 0.1 percentage points to 8.2 per cent.

Employment has steadily been increasing since July 2009 with 159,000 new jobs and since last summer, employment growth has all been in full time. However, the job gains haven't made up for the 417,000 jobs lost between October 2008 and July 2009.

The majority of February's increase was among public sector employees (46,000 new jobs). Compared with the summer of 2009, the number of public and private sector employees has risen, while self-employment has edged down.

Employment increases in February occurred in accommodation and food services (27,000 new jobs); business, building and other support services (18,000 new jobs); manufacturing (17,000 new jobs); health care and social assistance (16,000 new jobs); and natural resources (11,000 new jobs).

These gains were partially offset by losses in retail and wholesale trade (34,000 job losses); finance, insurance, real estate and leasing (22,000 job losses); and "other services" (13,000 job losses).

In February, employment increased in British Columbia (10,000 new jobs), Nova Scotia (4,200 new jobs) and Saskatchewan (4,100 new jobs). Saskatchewan's unemployment rate dropped 0.4 percentage points to 4.3 per cent — the lowest of all the provinces.

Alberta, 15,000 job losses, was the only province to see employment declines. There was little change in the other provinces.

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