B.C. adds 7,900 jobs in March as losses mount across Canada

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What happened: B.C. adds 7,900 jobs in March

Why it matters: The province is running against national trends, which saw a slight decline in employment last month

B.C. is piling up the jobs even amid the country’s first decline in employment numbers in half a year.

The West Coast province added 7,900 jobs in March, according to data released Friday (April 5) from Statistics Canada.

Nationally, however, the country registered 7,200 job losses as large provinces such as Ontario (-8,800), Quebec (-12,900) and Alberta (-1,800) were all hit with declines in employment.

“Nothing ever lasts forever, particularly in the volatile world of Canadian labour force statistics,” Andrew Grantham, senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets, said in a note to investors.

“So after a run of six consecutive employment gains, in which nearly 300K jobs were added to the total, it was little surprise to see a modest give-back of 7K in March.”

B.C.’s unemployment rate edged up 0.2 percentage points to 4.7% between February and March as more people entered the workforce.

Nationally the unemployment rate remained untouched at 5.8%.

“After such a strong run of employment gains, a modest pull-back in March is of little concern to us and won’t raise many eyebrows at the Bank of Canada either,” Grantham added.

“As such, there’s nothing here to justify financial markets pricing in the probability of a rate cut by [Bank of Canada governor Stephen] Poloz and company. However, employment growth does still look a little strong on an annual basis relative to the pace of GDP growth, suggesting further sluggish jobs numbers could be on the horizon which would augur against a rate hike this year as well.”

torton@biv.com

@reporton