Interesting info.from Canada.
OTTAWA — Canada's economy churned out a surprisingly robust 82,300 jobs in March, the biggest jump in more than three years, knocking the unemployment rate down to 7.2% for the first time since September 2011.The jump in employment last month was the biggest since September 2008, led by full-time and private-sector hiring. That followed a loss of 2,800 positions in February, which had pushed the jobless rate to 7.4%.
Statistics Canada said Thursday the employment gains spanned several sectors, including health care and social assistance, as well as information, culture and recreation, and public administration. Job growth the manufacturing sector also edged up.
“This is a very positive print that was entirely unexpected by anyone in the consensus guessing game that must deal with a paucity of leading indicators,” said Scotia Capital economist Derek Holt. “The details are uniformly positive.”Economists had expected about 10,500 jobs to be added in March, and the jobless rate to remain flat.
“The Canadian job market shook off its winter blues with authority in March, likely aided by the incredibly mild weather,” said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets. “With the fourth largest monthly job gain in the past 20 years, this could change the tone of the debate on the Bank of Canada, especially with the bank sounding a bit more hawkish recently.”
Many analysts expect the central bank to keep its key interest rate at a near-record low of one per cent until next year.
“The bank won't be going anywhere soon if the European debt crisis heats up again in a meaningful fashion,” Mr. Porter said. “Nevertheless, this is a very encouraging report that clearly shows the domestic economy still has some underlying momentum — much needed, in a time of government restraint.”
There were 70,000 full-time jobs created in March, while another 12,400 part-time positions were added. The majority of those new jobs, 42,600, were in the private sector. The public sector gained 20,900 positions.
Jobs were added in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba, while New Brunswick and Nova Scotia lost positions.
“With private sector employment creation starting to put together a string of healthy positive numbers, we see that the economic growth baton is indeed being shifted from the public sector to the private sector,” said Sonya Gulati, at TD Economist. “This shift bodes well for job report cards in the months to come when the federal government begins its civil servant reduction efforts and other governments like Ontario begin to impose wage freezes for public sector employees.”
In last week's federal budget, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said private sector economists are forecasting economic growth of 2.1% this year and 2.4% in 2013, little changed from the outlook in the Finance Department's November update.
The Bank of Canada's most recent outlook for 2012 is for two per cent expansion, followed by 2.8% in 2013.
“While we were pleasantly surprised with today's job numbers, the pace of economic growth expected over 2012 is consistent with average monthly job gains hovering at around the 10,000-20,000 mark, with the second half of the year realizing the higher part of this range,” said TD's Gulati. “With this gradual pace of hiring, the unemployment rate should not deviate too far from its current levels.”
Scotia Capital's Holt cautioned, however, not to read too much into Thursday's employment numbers. “There are multiple forces being traded off here, so resist the urge to extrapolate. In fact, one very good report is not yet enough to reverse the flattening trend in Canadian jobs.”