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Labour force size




Net jobs gained (from prev. period)


2,300 ****


SOURCE: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey

*seasonally adjusted

Canadian employers added 58,200 jobs in April, largely in full-time positions, the second month in a row of sizable employment gains.

More people looking for work sent the country's jobless rate up a notch to 7.3 per cent from 7.2 per cent a month earlier, Statistics Canada said Friday.

April's gains show demand is picking up, at least on the goods-producing side of the economy -- the construction, manufacturing, natural resources and agriculture industries all added to headcount. Public administration positions declined, reflecting reduced spending in the sector.

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The gains in April came after the economy churned out 82,000 positions in the prior month, the fourth-biggest monthly job gain since 1990. Employment may be echoing a pattern last year, which saw large gains in the first half of the year peter out in the second half, economists said.

"Canadian employment may be back to its old tricks again of posting massive first-half job gains, and then flattening out," said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns. "In any event, the hefty back-to-back increases will silence concerns that the economy was sagging notably."

Among regions, employment grew in the three Western-most provinces, along with Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Ontario's jobless rate jumped to 7.8 per cent from 7.4 per cent as more people searched for jobs.

Employment across the country has swelled by 214,000 positions in the past year. Yet Friday's report shows young people are still not benefiting. The youth jobless rate stayed at 13.9 per cent last month, and employment has been little changed since July, 2009.

This edition of the labour force survey included an apples-to-apples comparison with the United States. Using similar methodology, the adjusted unemployment rate in Canada last month was 6.4 per cent compared with 8.1 per cent in the U.S.

The gap between the two countries has narrowed in recent months, mainly because of a drop in the number of people searching for work in the U.S., Statscan said.

Tavia Grant

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