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StatsCan: Despite 30,000 new jobs, unemployment increases by a smidge in February

Employment didn't change much for the month of February according to a new survey from Stats Can released Tuesday.
Quinn Patrick Montreal, QC

Employment didn't change much for the month of February according to a new report from StatsCan released this week. Unemployment went up by 0.1 percent, now at a total of 5.6 percent. Nationally, new jobs increased by 30,000 or +0.2 percent.

Compared with February of 2019, StatsCan found "employment rose by 245,000 (+1.3%), the result of gains in full-time work (+252,000 or +1.6%). Over the same period, hours worked were up 2.3%, partly due to the fact that hours worked were at a relatively low level in February 2019." The rise occurred in Quebec, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Manitoba whereas the numbers remained the same in the other remaining provinces.

(Photo: StatsCan)

The report went on to show that, "there were more people working in wholesale and retail trade, in manufacturing, as well as in information, culture and recreation. At the same time, employment declined in professional, scientific and technical services and in accommodation and food services."

Quebec saw the lasrgest gains in employment, where it "increased for a third consecutive month, up by 20,000 in February. The unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage points to 4.5%, the lowest rate in the province since comparable data became available in 1976. Most of the employment gains in February were among youth aged 15 to 24. Their unemployment rate declined by 1.9 percentage points to 6.8%, also the lowest rate since 1976. Compared with February 2019, total employment in Quebec rose by 66,000 (+1.5%)."

Employment Chart by StatsCan.

Alberta saw a more modest gain in employment and primarily among youth with an increase of, "11,000, mostly among youth. The unemployment rate was little changed at 7.2%. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province was virtually unchanged."

Unemployment Chart by StatsCan.

Nova Scotia put 3,700 more people to work in February with the, "unemployment rate increased 0.4 percentage points to 7.8% as more people looked for work. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province was little changed."

February rang in 3,200 more people to work for Manitoba with the unemployment rate, "virtually unchanged at 5.0%. Employment in the province has trended up since December, bringing year-over-year gains to 9,700 (+1.5%)."

British Columbia and Ontario's employment rate in February remained consistent, the unemployment rate rose notably as more people searched for work, "the rate increased by 0.5 percentage points to 5.0% in British Columbia and by 0.3 percentage points to 5.5% in Ontario."

The employment rate was unchanged for New Brunswick, "but the unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage points to 6.9% as fewer people searched for work."

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