Canada’s economy posted record job gains in April that, along with a pick-up in wages, is the strongest signal yet the country is coming out of a six-month stint of weakness.
Employment rose by 106,500 in April, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa, the biggest one-month increase in data going back to 1976. That trounced the median economist forecast for a gain of 12,000 positions. The country’s jobless rate dropped to 5.7 percent, and is hovering near four-decade lows.
“As much as I try to poke holes in these numbers, I can’t,” Derek Holt, an economist at Scotiabank, said by phone from Toronto. “You’ve got sector breadth, you’ve got regional breadth, the four biggest provinces are up.”
The report reaffirms just how much the labor market has been the main driver of Canada’s expansion and ratifies the central bank’s view the recent slowdown would be temporary. Friday’s numbers add to other indicators that show the country is on the path back to growth after stalling for much of the past six months.
The Canadian dollar jumped 0.7 percent to C$1.3386 per U.S. dollar at 9:54 a.m. in Toronto. Two-year Canadian government bond yields climbed 4 basis points to 1.62 percent, as investors pared bets the Bank of Canada would need to cut rates to fuel the expansion.
Canada has added 426,400 jobs over the past 12 months, the largest one-year increase since 2007 and up 2.3 percent over that period. Over the past two years, the economy has added 700,000 jobs.