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Canada’s labour market stays strong in March, as factory jobs post biggest gain since 2002

Canada added 19,400 net jobs in March, most of the full-time. The bulk of the employment gains came from the manufacturing sector.
Canada added 19,400 net jobs in March, most of the full-time. The bulk of the employment gains came from the manufacturing sector. Geoff Robins/The Canadian Press

Canada’s labour market gained another 19,400 net jobs last month – and the vast majority of the new work was full time.

But latest Statistics Canada job survey also shows the bulk of those new positions were in the self-employment category, which can include people working for a family business without pay. The agency says the country’s unemployment rate crept up in March to 6.7 per cent from 6.6 per cent because more people were looking for work.

READ MORE: Canadian economy could outpace U.S. in 2017 — unless America’s protectionism kills that momentum

The country lost 2,400 positions in the services sector last month, but added 21,800 factory jobs thanks to the biggest month-to-month surge in manufacturing work since 2002.
Alberta easily saw the biggest boost among provinces by adding 20,700 full-time jobs last month and, at the other end of the spectrum, Quebec shed 17,800 full-time positions.

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The number of private-sector jobs rose 13,700 between February and March, while public-sector positions dropped by 12,700.

READ MORE: Canadian job numbers beat expectations, as full-time hiring soars

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