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Canada's Unemployment Rate Drops To 5.7% As Country Adds Impressive 107,000 Jobs In A Month

The unemployment rate in Quebec and among young workers is the lowest in data going back to 1976.
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The Canadian dollar jumped by half a cent on Friday morning after Statistics Canada reported record-shattering job growth for April.

The country added 107,000 net new jobs last month, with young workers, older workers over 55 and women making particularly strong gains, Statistics Canada said Friday.

It was the largest one-month jump in jobs the country has seen in comparable records going back to 1976.

Traders, worried about Canada's slow economic growth in the past few quarters, saw the data as a sign that Canada isn't headed toward recession as some prognosticators feared. The loonie jumped to around 74.7 cents in Friday morning trading, up from around 74.2 cents.


Ontario accounted for nearly half of that growth, or 47,000 net new jobs. Its jobless rate was steady at 6 per cent. On a per capita basis, Quebec's job growth was even stronger, with the province adding 38,000 jobs in April. Its jobless rate fell to 4.9 per cent, the lowest on record.

Of the jobs created, 47,000 went to younger workers aged 15 to 24. This pushed the unemployment rate in this group to the lowest level on record, at 10.3 per cent.

Watch: How Canada's high house prices are impacting jobs. Story continues below.

"So much for the soft economy," CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld wrote in a client note.

"Suddenly a lot of Canadian young people decided that they needed to work, and they helped power a massive surge in employment in April if today's data are to be taken at face value," Shenfeld added.

However, economists generally caution not to put too much weight on any single month's worth of jobs data, as the data series is notoriously volatile.

That said, this isn't the first unusually strong jobs report Canada has seen lately. Overall, Canada has added 426,000 jobs over the past year, or 2.3 per cent, considerably stronger than population growth.

In April, workers aged 55 and over made notable job gains, with men making the largest gains. Among the core working age group of people aged 25 to 54, women made most of the gains, adding 24,000 jobs, while employment among men was flat for the month.

Wholesale and retail added 32,000 jobs. Construction jobs, which had a weak start to the year, roared back to life in April, up by 29,000.

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