Canada added 90,000 jobs this month but unemployment rate still at 6.1%

May 10, 2024 | Canadian News, News

Canada’s unemployment rate remained stagnant at 6.1 per cent in April even though the economy added more than 90,000 jobs this month.

Statistics Canada (StatCan) released the monthly Labour Force Survey on Friday, May 10, showing that the economy added a net 90,000 jobs, which is also the largest gain since January 2023, when 110,000 jobs were added.

The unemployment rate remained unchanged this month after recording six consecutive monthly declines.

The federal agency said the increase in employment is due to part-time jobs with the addition of more than 50,000 of those types of positions.

StatCan also said that employment in the private sector also spiked in April after “four months of little chance.”

Rudy Kalia, a 26-year-old Staples sales associate, said he sympathizes with the people looking for a job in the current market.

“I came in the beginning of 2023 and got a job after three months,” he said. “I did my hard work and got promotions and pay increases but I have friends who have been unemployed for half a year, I feel bad for them.”

StatCan said the country’s employment rose among men aged between 25 and 54 years by 0.6 per cent and 0.4 per cent for women. While employment increased for male youth aged 15 to 24 by 2.8 per cent, there was little change among female youth in the same age group. StatCan also said 16,000 fewer women 55 and older were employed.

The sectors which witnessed the most job gains included scientific and technical services, accommodation and food services, health care and social assistance and natural resources. However, employment in utilities fell by 3.1 per cent, StatCan said.

News Brunswick added 7,800 new jobs in April, Ontario added 25,000, British Columbia 23,000 and Quebec 19,000 jobs.

The average hourly wages among employees increased to $34.95, recording a 4.7 per cent hike on a year-over-year basis this month, the report stated.

StatCan said the employment rate was down 0.9 percentage points on a year-over-year basis as the population growth of those aged 15 and older in the Labour Force Survey (LFS) grew by 3.3 per cent or 1.1 million, which outpaced employment growth of 1.9 per cent or 377,000 jobs.

Kalia said most people around him are struggling to find jobs and are not able to meet the requirements of their employers.

“I got lucky, but I know experienced individuals both international and domestic who are struggling to get a stable-paying job,” he said. “There are probably way more people now in Canada than ever. It looks like there are five people for one role.”

CIBC economist Andrew Grantham wrote in an email newsletter that the April labour force data were better than expected. However, he said the complete trend is a loosening of conditions for the job market, emphasizing high unemployment rates and a decrease in wage growth which plummeted in April compared to March.

The latest employment numbers by StatCan come after the country lost 2,200 jobs in March, the largest unemployment rate increase since summer 2022. The April 2024 job survey will be taken into account by the Bank of Canada next month to determine whether it will update interest rates.