Canadian April Employment Rises 3200, Unemployment Dips To 8-Year Low

The unemployment rate for Americans overall also dropped slightly, as the US added a total of 211,000 jobs last month, primarily in the hospitality, food service and healthcare industries.

Ottawa-Gatineau's unemployment rate rose slightly in April after the region shed about 2,200 jobs from the previous month, according to Statistics Canada figures released Friday. "I'm frankly surprised that this late into an expansion the economy is still adding jobs well above the steady-state pace", Jason Furman, chief economic adviser during the Obama administration, told The New York Times. ADP the payroll processor said that businesses added 177,000 new jobs during April. Jobs were added in leisure and hospitality (55,000), health care and social assistance (37,000), financial activities (19,000), and mining (9,000) industries.

Economists agree that March's slump was related primarily to the weather - which held up construction jobs - but also the timing of Easter and Passover this year.

April's legal services employment figures follow reports of recent staff cuts at global legal giant Dentons. The last time the United States unemployment rate was this low was May of 2007. For instance, the U-6 rate measure that covers individuals who gave up looking for a job, or those who work part-time but want to work full-time, dropped to 86 percent in April, the lowest level in the past decade. Average hourly earnings for all private non-farm employees rose by just 7 cents to $26.19 last month, and average hourly earnings have risen by 65 cents, or 2.5%, in the past year.

The U.S. labor market has been one of the brightest spots in a long recovery marked by slow economic growth. "The Fed will respond accordingly". "The fact that we are still quite a way away from [the Fed's target of] three percent wage growth means that there is no real pressure on the Fed to accelerate the pace of interest rate hikes", he added. The ADP report, a sort of preview to the official jobs report, showed that job growth in goods-producing industries had fallen somewhat after three months of strong gains.

Wage growth accelerated on a monthly basis to 0.3 per cent from a revised 0.1 per cent gain in March.

Employment rates in April rebounded better than expected, as employers added a solid 211,000 jobs.

Growth and employment prospects in the USA have been much better than in Europe, the other major advanced economic bloc. Consequently, economists believe that other fundamental shifts in the economy are behind the lower participation rate. Together, the revisions represent 6,000 fewer jobs than had been reported.

"The fly in the ointment continues to be weak wage growth", said RBC senior economist Nathan Janzen in a note to clients.

The drop in youth participation helped push the jobless rate down by 0.2 percentage points in April even though overall employment was nearly unchanged.

  • Wendy Palmer