Economy

Thomas unemployment rate falls to 5.7% in April

Thomas unemployment rate falls to 5.7% in April

This pushed the unemployment rate up 0.5 percentage points to 6.3 per cent.

The latest jobs report shows Canadian wages posted the largest increase since October 2012, up 3.6 per cent compared to the same time past year. It's even with Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake, but higher than Camrose-Drumheller (four per cent, a slight increase), Banff-Jasper-Rocky Mountain House/Athabasca-Grande Prairie-Peace River (rising to 5.9 per cent), and Red Deer (5.1 per cent, slightly higher).

The decline of 1,100 jobs reported by Statistics Canada on Friday was well short of economists' forecasts for an increase of 17,400. It was the monthly reading's largest annual increase since October 2012.

"It is fair to say that they would view 3 per cent [wage growth] as being a little bit more "normal" and it would probably give them more comfort in raising rates", said Douglas Porter, chief economist with Bank of Montreal. The next scheduled rate announcement is May 30. The highest unemployment rate in B.C last month was recorded on the North Coast, where 8.1 percent of the labour force lacked a job. It matches its lowest mark since the agency started measuring the indicator in 1976. It was 6.1%, up from 5.6% in March.

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The agency said the economy produced 28,800 full-time jobs last month and shed 30,000 part-time positions.

Goods-producing industries shed 15,900 positions, mostly in construction.

The declines were tempered by a 21,300 increase in jobs in professional and scientific services, while the accommodation and food sector added 16,900 jobs. The labour force participation rate for youth slipped to 63.4% from 63.8%. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province rose by 133,000 or 1.9 per cent, all in full-time work.

In Regina, the unemployment rate ticked up from 5 to 5.7 per cent. Saskatoon saw a minor increase from 6.5 to 6.7 per cent.


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