But Statistics Canada reports the economy added nearly 56-thousand net new jobs as more people started looking for work. Much of the increase in Canada's population comes from worldwide working-age migrants.
"The sudden surge in jobs in Canada comes as a bit of a head scratcher for economists because other recent economic data, including gross domestic product and inflation, have been suggesting the economy is softening".
The lowest rate was in the Saint John and St. Stephen region, at 6.8 per cent, up from 6.2 past year. The jobless rate was unchanged at 5.8 percent as more people joined the labor market. In an economy with more than half a million vacant jobs, many seem to be finding work.
The breakdown in the numbers was also positive, with 67,400 new full-time jobs offsetting a loss of 11,600 part-time positions.
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Chances of an interest rate cut by December, which had climbed this week on a more dovish tone from the Bank of Canada, fell to less than 20 percent from about 40 percent before the jobs data, the overnight index swaps market indicated. Rounding things out was a 15.1k net increase in self-employment.
Overall, the increase was led by a gain of 46,200 positions the services sector, largely concentrated in the categories of professional, scientific and technical services, public administration and wholesale and retail trade. "Our investments in infrastructure and services will generate tens of thousands of good jobs". In particular, the central bank focuses on a reading called "wage common", which incorporates payroll data from several sources, not just from the labour force survey.
"Continued strength in job creation, especially full time, alongside recovering wage growth will help support income and spending growth this year", Alicia Macdonald, principal economist for The Conference Board of Canada, wrote in a research note. The unemployment rate remained at 5.8% as more of us were engaged with the labour market.
Within the province, the highest unemployment rate in February was 16.5 per cent, in the region that includes Campbellton and Miramichi.