Rock to Road

More good news from StatsCan

May 7, 2010  By  Andy Bateman

May 7, 2010 – Following yesterday's good news on building permits, Statistics Canada delivered more good news today, this time on employment.

Canada’s employment increased
by 109,000 in April, the largest monthly gain in percentage terms
since August 2002. The unemployment rate edged
down 0.1 percentage points in April to 8.1%, as more people
participated in the labour market.

The gain in April was of a similar magnitude to some of
the monthly losses observed in the most recent employment downturn, which began
in the fall of 2008.


The employment increase in April brings total gains since
the start of the upward trend in July 2009 to 285,000.

In April, two-thirds of the employment growth was among
men aged 25 and over (+72,000), the strongest monthly increase for
this group since comparable data became available in 1976.

Employment growth in April was in both part-time
(+65,000) and full-time (+44,000) work. Since July 2009, growth has been
concentrated in full-time work.

All of April's increase was among employees in the
private sector.

Employment rose in a number of industries in April with
wholesale and retail trade; business, building and other support services; and
construction leading the way.

Employment grew in all provinces in April, with the
largest increases in Ontario, Quebec,
British Columbia, Alberta
and Manitoba.

Compared with a year earlier, average hourly wages were
up 2.0% in April, a rate of growth similar to those observed since
January 2010.

growth led by men and youth

Employment growth in April was
primarily among men aged 25 and over and youth, while there was
little change for women.

Employment grew by 51,000 in April among men
aged 25 to 54, the largest percentage increase
in 16 years. Despite this gain, employment for this group
remained 137,000 (-2.2%) below the employment peak of October 2008.

Employment for youths aged 15 to 24 grew
by 23,000 in April. Despite gains in recent months, youth employment
remained 168,000 (-6.4%) lower than in October 2008.

Men aged 55 and over also experienced employment
increases in April (+21,000). In contrast to youths and men
aged 25 to 54, employment for this group has risen
by 98,000 (+6.5%) since October 2008.

Service sector leads gains

The largest increases
in April were in retail and wholesale trade (+32,000); business, building and
other support services (+31,000); construction (+24,000); and information,
culture and recreation (+20,000).

The industries with notable losses in April were
manufacturing (-21,000) and agriculture (-10,000).

Since July 2009, employment growth has been driven
by gains in services, as well as construction and natural resources. Over the
same period, employment in manufacturing remained stable.

April's employment increase was entirely among private
sector employees (+109,000), while both the public sector and self-employment
were unchanged.

Since July 2009, growth has been strongest among
private sector employees (+2.4%), followed by those in the public sector
(+1.9%). The number of self-employed workers declined by 1.2% during the
same period.

Robust employment growth in several provinces

Employment in Ontario increased
by 41,000 in April, bringing gains since
July 2009 to 109,000 (+1.7%). The unemployment rate was
unchanged at 8.8%, as more people participated in the labour market.

In April, employment rose by 35,000 in Quebec, and the
unemployment rate edged down to 7.9%. Since July 2009, employment in
that province has grown by 91,000 (+2.4%).

In British
Columbia, employment gains of 13,000 in April
pushed the unemployment rate down 0.6 percentage points to 7.3%.
Since July 2009, employment in the province has risen
by 55,000 (+2.4%).

Employment in Alberta
rose by 10,000 in April, and the unemployment rate edged down
to 7.4%. Despite April's gain, Alberta
is the only province with no employment growth since July 2009.

Employment also grew in Manitoba in April, up 7,000, pushing the
unemployment rate down 0.3 percentage points to 4.9%, the lowest
in the country.


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