Unemployment: Canada loses 7000 jobs in March, unemployment still 5.8%

The U.S. economy added 196,000 jobs in March, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Friday. Notable job gains occurred in health care and in professional and technical services.

The unemployment rate was 5.5 per cent in March, compared to 5.2 per cent in February.

Though some corners of the Victoria economy saw job growth - transportation and warehousing added 3,400 positions over the previous year, and business, building and support services added 2,800 - they were offset by decreases.

Retail lost 11,700 jobs in March after losing 20,200 jobs in February.

The numbers are based on estimates for the week of March 10 to 16.

Statistics Canada says more people were looking for work across the province boosting the jobless rate to 5.9 per cent. Year-over-year, employment in Ontario has grown by 175,000 positions.

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The number of Americans claiming unemployment insurance hit a 50-year low Thursday. In 2018, employment growth in the United States averaged 223,000 per month. Computer systems design added 12,000 jobs during the month. Employment in food services and drinking places trended up last month, adding 27,000 jobs.

The economy added 1,100 goods producing sector jobs, mostly in manufacturing, and shed 8,800 services sector jobs, mostly in healthcare and social assistance, and the business, building and other support services category.

The March decline followed monthly increases of 66,800 net new jobs in January and 55,900 in February - the country's best two-month start to a year since 1981.

Notably, for the mortgage and real estate industries, employment in the construction sector - including residential-home construction - rose after a February decline.

"After such a strong run of employment gains, a modest pull-back in March is of little concern to us and won't raise many eyebrows at the Bank of Canada either", Grantham added.

  • Darren Santiago