Canada adds 15,400 jobs in February, unemployment rate dips to 5.8 percent

FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past a
FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past a "Help wanted" sign at a retail store in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, November 2, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

March 9, 2018

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Canadian economy added 15,400 jobs in February after a massive loss in January, thanks to a gain in part-time positions, and the unemployment rate dipped to 5.8 percent, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast employment would increase by 20,000. Canada shed 88,000 positions in January, the most in nine years.

February’s gains were all in the part-time sector, which added 54,700 positions, while the full-time sector shed 39,300 jobs. Average hourly wages rose by 3.1 percent from last February.

On a year-over-year basis, employment rose by 282,500, or 1.5 percent, while the six-month average for employment growth was 19,000, down from 20,100 in January.

The mixed nature of the data is likely to reinforce the Bank of Canada’s cautious stance on interest rates after its decision to stay on the sidelines on Wednesday.

Deputy governor, Timothy Lane, on Thursday said the central bank was not on a pre-set course with regards to interest rates, and would view future rate moves cautiously and assess incoming data.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum)