Statistics Canada's monthly labour force survey showed that employment surged by 107,000 jobs in the month, the biggest figure since the statistical agency began using comparable methodology in 1976. The upbeat data may help put the Canadian Dollar back on a bullish footing going forward, with the currency struggling for direction lately.
The jobless rate dropped to 5.7 per cent, near four-decade lows.
A closer look at the April numbers reveals the overall gain was driven by the creation of 73,000 full-time jobs and 83,800 positions in the private sector. Part-time positions also performed well with 33.6k jobs added. A separate measure of gainful employment added 0.6 percent, the highest such jump since 1994. That should still leave the Bank of Canada with plenty of flexibility to hold off on interest rate hikes any time soon. There was little change in other provinces.
The Canadian dollar rallied on the back of the jobs report to 1.3400 against the US dollar. Canadian wages rose 2.5 percent year-on-year in April, the quickest gain since last September, while total hours worked also increased by 1.3 percent - despite the lingering softness in labour productivity.
The month-over-month headline employment swings are notoriously volatile - so there is reason to take even a 107k increase with a big grain of salt.
The Canadian economy is poised for a steady pace of expansion this year, most economists agree, saying the rising oil exports to the U.S. through the Keystone XL pipeline, aided by the elevated energy prices, would drive the expansion.
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Job gains were spread across several industries: wholesale and retail trade; construction; information, culture and recreation; "other services"; public administration; and agriculture.
Year-over-year average hourly wage growth for all employees in April was 2.5 per cent, up from a reading of 2.4 per cent in March. Of those jobs, almost 25,000 were in Alberta.
According to the numbers, unadjusted data for Medicine Hat show an unemployment rate of 13 per cent, up from 11 per cent in March.
Meanwhile in Quebec, employment increased by 38,000 jobs and the province's unemployment rate now sits at 4.9 per cent, the lowest rate since data became available in 1976.
Employment was up in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and Prince Edward Island.