The US added 196,000 jobs in March

Nationally, Statistics Canada says the economy lost 7,200 jobs in March, while the unemployment rate remained stable at 5.8 per cent. The services sectors of business, building and support, health care and accommodation and food services saw the largest monthly declines, the report said.

The unemployment rate stayed at its record low of 5.8 per cent despite the economy shedding some 7,200 jobs in March.

Though some corners of the Victoria economy saw job growth - transportation and warehousing added 3,400 positions over the past year, and business, building and support services added 2,800 - they were offset by decreases.

Manufacturing employment changed little for the second month in a row (down 6,000 in March, following a gain of 1,000 in February).

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8%.

Last week's applications for unemployment benefits came in at 202,000, the lowest level in almost 50 years. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months.

Construction added 16,000 jobs, which did not fully offset the 25,000 drop reported in February.

The total number of people employed is now 251,100. "In 2018, employment gains averaged 223,000 per month", said William Beach, commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment continued to trend up in architectural and engineering services, as well as in management and technical consulting services which added a combined 12,000 jobs. In the first quarter of 2019, the country added about 116,000 new jobs.

For the Bank of Canada, the key area of today's report is likely wages, where growth was effectively unchanged at 2.3% y/y.

After steadily tightening interest rates last year, much to Trump's chagrin, the Federal Reserve now forecasts it will not raise rates at all this year, taking note of slowing economic activity.

  • Anthony Vega