Economists were expecting to see a humble growth in employment in March. They were looking forward to an increase of around 5000 after three months of slight job growth. In fact, there was a forecast that there would be a jobless rate of 7.3%. This would match the maximum level in over 3 years.
However, March arrived with a bang. Employment went up to 41,000 (+0.2%) – the highest number in five months. Such a strong number took down the unemployment rate by 0.2% making it 7.1%.
During the first quarter, there were 33,000 jobs. In the fourth quarter, the jobless rate went down by 0.2%.
Where Did The Gains Take Place?
Alberta, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan were posted with payroll gains. Simultaneously, employment went down in Prince Edward Island. There was an oil crisis in Alberta where 19,000 new jobs were recorded. This reduced the unemployment rate by 0.8%. However, the gross jobless rate was 7.1% which has been quite high since last year.
British Columbia (BC) stands as the frontrunner. It went through the most speedy payroll growth and the strongest economy. The gains went up to 72,000 in BC, up 3.2%. However, the jobless rate was unaffected and stood at 6.5%. Ontario became the second strongest province during last year. It had a job growth of 1.2% and an unemployment rate of 6.8%.
The increase was determined by the rise in retail and wholesale businesses. Regardless of the increase in jobs, the complete amount of hours worked in March went down by 0.7% – a fall that started early last year.