London jobless rate falls in March, labour force grows

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The agency says the labour force produced 68,300 full-time positions last month and shed 35,900 part-time jobs. That was the smallest increase since September and followed a 326,000 surge in February.

"The Canadian labour market remains healthy, with solid full-time job growth, a low-low jobless rate and wages firming above 3%", said BMO chief economist Douglas Porter. After a hiring spree in February, the construction and retail sectors let go of more people than they brought on board in March. Average hourly earnings for private-sector production and non-supervisory employees increased by four cents.

The monthly employment figures for specific regions of Canada, like Cape Breton, are determined by a three-month moving average of unemployment rates unadjusted for seasonality, while national, provincial and major city numbers reflect monthly numbers, which are seasonally adjusted.

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Nationally, 32,000 jobs were added last month, keeping the unemployment rate at 5.8 per cent. The lowest rate once again belongs to Camrose-Drumheller, which saw a decrease to 3.9 per cent. Banff-Jasper-Rocky Mountain House/Athabasca-Grande Prairie-Peace River declined to 5.1 per cent, Red Deer dropped significantly to 4.9 per cent, and Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake was also lower, at 5.7 per cent.

Despite the slowdown in job growth in March, steady wage gains should support consumer spending amid signs gross domestic product growth moderated in the first quarter.

The nation's jobless rate has been at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent since October. But the firm expects growth to rebound to a decent 3.1 percent annual pace in the current April-June quarter. Growth this year is seen boosted by a US$1.5 trillion income tax cut package and increased government spending, which economists say will offset some of the impact from the stock market gyrations.

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