Quebec leads job surge
May 20, 2019
The unemployment rate fell to 4.9 per cent in Quebec and to 4.6 per cent in British Columbia—the lowest jobless rates in the country following a surprising national job surge in April.
Quebec’s unemployment rate dropped from 5.2 per cent in March to the lowest record in recorded history in April, while British Columbia’s rate was down from 4.7 per cent a month earlier.
Canada posted a record job gain in April, along with a decline in the jobless rate and a pick-up in wages, providing the strongest signal yet that the economy is coming out of a six-month slowdown. Other data this week points to a rebound in economic activity, including a strong bounce-back in exports and a surge in housing starts.
Statistics Canada announced that employment rose by a whopping 106,500 in April—the biggest one-month gain since the start of this data series in 1976. This was dramatically above the median forecast of economists of 12,000 net new positions. The Canadian jobless rate fell slightly to 5.7 per cent—an almost four-decade low.
Full-time jobs jumped by 73,000 and part-time positions rose by 33,600.
Employment increased in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and Prince Edward Island. It declined in New Brunswick and was little changed in the other provinces. Jobs in Alberta gained steam following two months of little change.
Construction punched above its weight for the first time in many months. Gains were concentrated in Ontario and British Columbia. This likely foreshadows a stronger spring season in existing home sales, according to analysts.