April 5, 2024

Canada unemployment rate rises

Canada unemployment rate rises

Canadian flag pinned on the atlas map

Canada’s unemployment rate climbed in March to 6.1 percent, the statistics agency announced on Friday.

Unemployment had hit an annual rate of 5.8 percent in February.

Statistics Canada said in a statement that employment declined in the hospitality and food sectors, in wholesale and retail trade and in the professional, scientific and technical services sectors.

Jobs were added in health care and social assistance. The average hourly wage rose 5.1 percent in March, compared with the same period in 2023.

The employment rate — the segment of the population aged 15 and over who are employed — fell for the sixth month in a row due to a population boom and now stands at 61.4 percent.

“The Canadian labor market is beginning to show more cracks,” Desjardins Bank economist Royce Mendes said in a note. “The economy shed 2K jobs in March, undershooting even our below-consensus call.”

Mendes said he expects the Bank of Canada to announce next week a plan to lower interest rates in the middle of the year.