Economy lost 1100 jobs in April, unemployment rate holds steady


This pushed the unemployment rate up 0.5 percentage points to 6.3 per cent.

Northeast B.C.'s unemployment rate was the third-highest of any region in B.C. The lowest rate of unemployment was recorded in the Lower Mainland where only 4.3 percent of the labour force was without work, while the next lowest rate on Vancouver Island was 5.2 percent.

Looking at the headline numbers in Friday's Statistics Canada survey, the overall decline in jobs last month was so small the federal agency did not consider it statistically significant. That's the biggest increase since the fall of 2012, when soaring oil prices fuelled a labour shortage and spike in wages in Alberta.

The numbers fit a pattern over the past four months that indicate a labour market hitting capacity - with the labour force stalling and employees seeing larger wage gains. The bank's next rate decision is scheduled for May 30. The economy created 28,800 full-time positions and eliminated 30,000 part-time positions.

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Markets see a 68 percent probability the central bank will hike in July, which would make for its fourth rate increase over the course of a year.

By industry, the construction sector lost 18,900 jobs, while the trade sector, which includes retail and wholesale jobs, shed 22,100.

Accommodation and food services saw 200 more jobs from March and no change from April 2017. The labour participation rate rose to 59.7%, more than 1.2% increase from April 2017.

The national unemployment rate was also down, to 5.8 per cent. Saskatchewan remained about even at 6.3 per cent. Year-over-year, full-time employment rose by 250 jobs while 700 part-time jobs have been added.