The unemployment rate in Canada nudged up a tenth of a percentage point to 5.6 per cent as the economy added 30,300 net new jobs in February, Statistics Canada said Friday. (The Canadian Press)

Canada added 30,300 jobs in February, unemployment rate 5.6%

There were gains in manufacturing, by 16,000 jobs, and a bump of 23,000 jobs in the retail sector

The unemployment rate in Canada nudged up a tenth of a percentage point to 5.6 per cent as the economy added 30,300 net new jobs in February, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The agency said the gain was led by Quebec, which posted its third consecutive month of job gains.

Quebec saw its unemployment rate fall to 4.5 per cent, the lowest level for the province over the past four decades of comparable data.

The agency’s latest labour force survey said most of the gains nationally were in full-time work, where there was an increase of 37,600 positions, while part-time employment declined by 7,300 compared to January.

Young workers saw an increase of 20,000 jobs month-over-month, mostly for those aged 20 to 24, but the cohort’s unemployment rate didn’t change from 10.3 per cent.

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While there were gains for young workers, employment for the core of Canadian workers who are aged 25 to 54 as well as those over 55 held steady for a third consecutive month in February.

The agency said there were gains in manufacturing, by 16,000 jobs, and a bump of 23,000 jobs in the retail sector. Those gains were offset by 15,000 fewer people working in professional, scientific and technical services in February, concentrated in Ontario, and 13,000 fewer jobs in the accommodation and food services sector.

Compared with a year earlier, the overall numbers show Canada added 245,000 jobs, an increase of 1.3 per cent, which was largely driven by gains in full-time work.

Average hourly wages increased to $28.66 from $27.54 for all workers 15 years and older compared with the same month in 2019, for an increase of about 4.1 per cent.

The Canadian Press

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