Unemployment rate falls to new record low as wages ramp up: StatCan

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OTTAWA — The economy added 40,000 jobs in May, driven by a gain in full-time jobs as the labour market continued to tighten, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The increase came as the unemployment rate fell to 5.1 per cent, the lowest rate since at least 1976 which is as far back as comparable data goes. The unemployment rate was 5.2 per cent in April.

The overall gain in jobs came as the number of full-time jobs climbed by 135,000, but part-time employment fell by 96,000.

The services sector saw a gain of 81,000 jobs as accommodation and food services added 20,000 positions.

The number of professional, scientific and technical services jobs grew by 21,000, while educational services gained 24,000 positions and retail trade added 34,000 jobs in the month.

Transportation and warehousing lost 25,000 jobs, while the number of finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing jobs fell by 19,000.

Meanwhile, the goods-producing sector lost 41,000 jobs in the month as 43,000 manufacturing jobs were lost.

The jobs report follows a decision by the Bank of Canada last week to raise its key interest rate by half a percentage point to 1.5 per cent in an effort to help bring inflation back under control.

The annual pace of inflation rose to 6.8 per cent in April, the fastest year-over-year rise in 31 years.

Statistics Canada said Friday that average hourly wages for all employees rose 3.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis in May, compared with an increase of 3.3 per cent in April.

Long-term unemployment, people who had been searching for work or had been on temporary lay-off for 27 weeks or more, accounted for 19.7 per cent of total unemployment in May compared with 15.6 per cent in February 2020.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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