Full-Time Jobs Surge in February

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Employment in Ontario rose for the second consecutive month in February, up by 37,000, boosted by a gain of 59,000 full-time jobs; the unemployment rate in the province remained at 5.7%.

The report by Statistics Canada also shined a spotlight on the participation rate of women in the workforce. "This is a very strong indication of employer confidence, to create that many full-time jobs", said Derek Holt, vice president of capital markets economics at Scotiabank. In an economy with more than half a million vacant jobs, many seem to be finding work.

In addition, the Ontario Government said in a release that Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie has the largest employment growth year-over-year across the province at seven per cent growth.

Caranci said the Bank of Canada will likely view the February numbers "as a positive sign and a bit of a relief". It was the third month of outsized job gains in the last four and, for the first time since 2012, total Canadian job gains beat United States employment growth, which nearly stalled in February with just 20,000 jobs created.

The report says the addition last month of 67,400 full-time jobs more than offset a loss of 11,600 part-time positions. The private sector led the way, adding 31.8k net positions, while the public sector added 8.8k. Analysts had forecast February job numbers to be flat in Canada.

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The goods-producing sectors added 9,500 new positions following job gains in natural resources, agriculture and manufacturing.

Year-over-year average hourly wage growth in February for permanent employees was 2.3 per cent, up from January's reading of 1.8 per cent.

The Bank of Canada's benchmark interest rate is at 1.75 percent.

"Continued strength in job creation, especially full time, alongside recovering wage growth will help support income and spending growth this year", Alicia Macdonald, principal economist for The Conference Board of Canada, wrote in a research note.

Calgary's unemployment rate for February is even worse at 7.6 percent, up 0.3 percent from January. One year ago at this time, the region has a 6.9 per cent unemployment rate.

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