Jobless rate ticks higher to 7.2% as private-sector hiring slumps
By CBC News
Canada’s economy lost 54,500 jobs in March, bleak new data from Statistics Canada showed Friday.
That’s the worst month for Canadian employment since the recession of 2009. When added to the numbers for January and February, they show that Canada’s economy has lost 26,000 jobs so far in 2013 as a whole
The job losses pushed Canada’s jobless rate higher to 7.2 per cent.
“Official unemployment would have increased even more but for 12,300 Canadians dropping out of the labour force altogether and consequently not being counted as unemployed,” United Steelworkers economist Erin Weir said of the data.
Provincially, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta lost jobs, and employment edged down in Ontario. The only province with an increase was Nova Scotia.
Loonie sinks on news
Private sector hiring, the engine of growth that policymakers keep a close eye on, actually fared even worse. There were 85,000 fewer private sector workers in March, while the public sector was largely unchanged,
There was an increase of 39,000 among self-employed people that counteracted the decline.
Overall, economists had been expecting about 6,500 new jobs, so a loss of 54,500 represents a considerable miss.
Much of the losses came among those in the core working-age group of those between 25 and 54. Among those younger than 25 and older than 54, the job numbers were pretty steady.
The Canadian dollar lost half a cent to trade below 98 cents US in reaction to the news.