Canada’s economy added 41,000 new jobs in April, mostly part-time work.
Statistics Canada reported Friday that the jobless rate held steady in the month at five per cent.
Ontario added 33,000 new jobs, while Prince Edward Island added 2,200. Manitoba lost 4,000 jobs, and everywhere else, the job market was little changed.
Almost all the new jobs were part-time, with 47,000 new positions. Full-time work, meanwhile, shrank by 6,200, and self-employment was flat.
Among those who worked only part-time during the month, almost one in six say they would have preferred full-time work but couldn’t find it.
The average hourly wage was $33.38 during the month. That’s an increase of $1.66, or 5.2 per cent, compared to what it was a year ago, and it marks the third month in a row that wage gains are outpacing the inflation rate over the same period.
While the economy added more jobs than expected, it wasn’t enough to push down the jobless rate, because more people were looking for work, too.
More than 47,000 people entered the labour force during the month. That’s been a recurring theme in recent months, one that economists are starting to take note of, and causing them to recalibrate their expectations, ever since recent data revealed that Canada’s population grew by more than a million people last year.
“The ongoing spike in the population means that hiring isn’t tightening the labour market as much as it would otherwise be,” said Royce Mendes, an economist with Desjardins. “Newcomers to Canada were still finding work with relative ease in April, with the economy adding jobs for an eighth month in a row.”