Canada posts biggest monthly gains on record +165K v 11.6K eyed

Loonie surges after Canada delivers best monthly job gain on record.

Employment rose by 107,000 in April, with notable gains in part-time work for youth. The unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage points to 5.7% as more people participated in the labour market.

On a year-over-year basis, employment grew by 426,000 (+2.3%), with gains in both full-time (+248,000) and part-time (+179,000) work. Over the same period, total hours worked were up 1.3%.

Employment increased in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and Prince Edward Island. It declined in New Brunswick, and was little changed in the other provinces.

Employment rose for youth aged 15 to 24, people aged 55 and older, and women in the core working ages of 25 to 54.

Employment gains were spread across several industries: wholesale and retail trade; construction; information, culture and recreation; “other services”; public administration; and agriculture. At the same time, employment decreased in professional, scientific and technical services.

The number of employees in both the private and public sectors increased, while there was no change in self-employment.

Employment up in four provinces

Employment in Ontario rose by 47,000 in April, primarily due to gains in part-time work among people aged 15 to 24. Youth employment in the province has been trending upward since the beginning of 2019. The unemployment rate was little changed in April at 6.0% as more people participated in the labour market. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment grew by 205,000 or 2.8%.

In Quebec, employment increased by 38,000 in April, and the unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage points to 4.9%, the lowest rate since comparable data became available in 1976. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province rose by 75,000 (+1.8%), with all of the increase occurring since October 2018.

Following two months of little change, employment in Alberta rose by 21,000 in April. Gains were primarily spread across several services-producing industries. The unemployment rate was 6.7%. On a year-over-year basis, employment grew by 27,000 (+1.1%).

In Prince Edward Island, employment rose by an estimated 800 and the unemployment rate was little changed at 8.6%. On a year-over-year basis, employment grew by 2,600 (+3.5%).

In New Brunswick, employment declined by 3,900 as gains in part-time work were more than offset by decreases in full-time employment. The unemployment rate was little changed at 8.0%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment was virtually unchanged.

Youth employment continues upward trend

Among youth aged 15 to 24, overall employment rose by 47,000 in April, driven by a strong increase in part-time work (+66,000). The youth unemployment rate was 10.3%, the lowest rate since comparable data became available in 1976. On a year-over-year basis, youth employment was up by 89,000 (+3.6%), entirely due to gains in 2019.

Among those aged 55 and older, employment increased by 34,000 in April, primarily due to gains for men in this age category (+26,000). The unemployment rate for people aged 55 and older decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 5.3% as more people participated in the labour market. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment for this age group was up by 161,000 (+4.0%).

Employment increased by 24,000 in April for women in the core working ages of 25 to 54, while it was little changed for their male counterparts. The unemployment rate for this age group was 4.8% for women and 5.0% for men. On a year-over-year basis, employment increased by 103,000 (+1.8%) among core-aged women and by 74,000 (+1.2%) among core-aged men.

Notable gains in trade and construction

Employment was up by 32,000 in wholesale and retail trade in April, driven by increases in Quebec and Alberta. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this industry grew by 75,000 (+2.7%), entirely due to gains since the beginning of 2019.

Following four months of little change, employment in construction increased by 29,000 in April. Gains were concentrated in Ontario and British Columbia. On a year-over-year basis, employment in this industry was up by 32,000 (+2.2%).

There were 14,000 more people working in information, culture and recreation, entirely due to increases in Ontario. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in this industry was little changed.

In “other services,” employment rose by 14,000 in April. This industry includes repair and maintenance; services related to civic and professional organizations; and personal and laundry services. Increases were concentrated in Quebec and Alberta. On a year-over-year basis, employment in this industry grew by 28,000 (+3.5%).

Employment in public administration increased by 9,000 in April, entirely due to more people working in this industry in Quebec. On a year-over-year basis, employment grew by 41,000 (+4.2%) at the national level, driven by gains since the beginning of 2019.

In agriculture, employment rose by 7,000 in April. On a year-over-year basis, employment in this industry was little changed.

Employment decreased by 15,000 in professional, scientific and technical services, mostly in Quebec. Nationally, this was the first monthly decline since August 2018. Despite the decrease in the month, employment in this industry grew by 63,000 (+4.3%) on a year-over-year basis.

Private sector employees leading growth

The increased employment in April was driven by more employees in the private sector (+84,000), while there were also gains in public sector employment (+23,000). There was no change in the number of self-employed. Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of private-sector employees increased by 355,000 or 3.0%, the fastest pace of year-over-year growth for this group since December 2010. Over the same period, there were 47,000 (+1.2%) more public sector employees, while the number of self-employed was little changed.

Canada–US comparison

Adjusted to US concepts, the unemployment rate in Canada was 4.7% in April, compared with 3.6% in the United States. On a year-over-year basis, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points in Canada and by 0.3 percentage points in the United States.

The labour force participation rate in Canada (adjusted to US concepts) was 65.8% in April, compared with 62.8% in the United States. Compared with 12 months earlier, the participation rate increased by 0.5 percentage points in Canada, while it was unchanged in the United States.

The US-adjusted employment rate in Canada was 62.7% in April, compared with 60.6% in the United States. On a year-over-year basis, the employment rate rose by 0.6 percentage points in Canada and was little changed in the United States.

 

 
Statistics Canada

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Ed Moya

Ed Moya

Senior Market Analyst at OANDA
With more than 20 years’ trading experience, Ed Moya is a market analyst with OANDA, producing up-to-the-minute fundamental analysis of geo-political events and monetary policies in the US, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Over the course of his career, he has worked with some of the world’s leading forex brokerages and research departments including Global Forex Trading, FX Solutions and Trading Advantage. Most recently he worked with TradeTheNews.com, where he provided market analysis on economic data and corporate news. Based in New York, Ed is a regular guest on several major financial television networks including BNN, CNBC, Fox Business, and Bloomberg. He is often quoted in leading print and online publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. He holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University. Follow Ed on Twitter @edjmoya ‏
Ed Moya