Canada's economy cranked out 41,000 new jobs last month

Canada's economy cranked out an impressive 41,000 jobs last month, more than four times what economists were expecting.

Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey showed there were more people employed in Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. At the same time, employment declined in Prince Edward Island and was little changed in the other provinces.

By sector, health care was a real winner, with 25,000 new jobs. Manufacturing, which has been showing some encouraging economic signs in recent months, lost 32,000 positions.

The natural resources sector, which includes mining, oil and gas, lost about 2,100 jobs.


Economists polled by Bloomberg had been expecting the Canadian economy to add about 10,000 jobs in March. The surprise good news pushed the Canadian dollar up half a cent to 76.87 cents US.

The strong showing was enough to pull the unemployment rate down by 0.2 percentage points to 7.1 per cent.

"The composition of the increase was also extremely encouraging," CIBC economist Nick Exarhos said. "Most of the increase was driven by full-time positions, up 35,000."

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