Canada had its biggest job gain on record last month

Canada had its biggest job gain on record last month”

A worker walks on a construction site in Hamilton, Ont., on November 14, 2013.

The report reaffirms just how much the labour market has been the main driver of Canada's expansion, and adds to a recent run of other data showing clear signs Canada is on the path back to growth after the economy stalled for much of the past six months.

Canada's economy is reporting its biggest one-month employment surge since 1976, when the government started collecting comparable data. On a percentage basis, it was the largest monthly gain since 1994.

Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in Ontario increased by 205,000 or 2.8 per cent. Hourly wage growth also accelerated to 2.5 per cent year over year, an eight-month high and the fifth straight increase.

The rate in March was 7.9 per cent.

Canada's job market is heating up. "There is still a voracious appetite to hire people".

For months, the labor market had been the lone bright spot in a struggling economy, and was the only thing giving policy makers much comfort.

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"It seems like there's a little more strength left in the Canadian economy", Brian DePratto, a senior economist at Toronto Dominion Bank, said in a telephone interview. Over the past two years, the economy has added 700,000 jobs.

The employment increase cut across much of the labour market: full-time (up 73,000) and part-time (up 34,000); private sector (up 84,000) and public sector (up 23,000); goods-producing sectors (up 40,000) and services-producing sectors (up 67,000).

Employment was up in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and Prince Edward Island.

The labour force report, which was released Friday morning, showed the unemployment rate was at eight per cent, up 0.1 per cent from this time previous year.

"We still believe that recent labour market performance is not consistent with broader economic conditions and is unsustainable, although the magnitude of this month's outperformance suggests that the inherent volatility of the labour force survey is not the sole factor".

In Campbellton and Miramichi, the unemployment rate was at 15.4 per cent, up from 14.4 per cent.

Analysts had warned as recently as last month that Canada ran the risk of falling into a recession amid a flawless storm of negative factors - falling oil prices, volatile financial markets, higher interest rates, cooling housing markets and global trade tensions.

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